FSSA Teen Hopes to Change the Future of Jazz

FSSA senior instrumentalist, Mattelyn Moses hopes to be an inspiration to young musicians.

Coming from an environment where she was the smallest in the room, seeing the double bass made her feel just a little bit bigger. There was no limit to her music. Jazz was what drew her to her instrument and they fit together hand in hand.

She had three distinct inspirations: Charles Mingus, Janelle Monae, and her childhood music teacher Mr.Chandler. These were the jazz icons in her eyes and that pushed her to strive. Through the trials and tribulations of being a young musician in New York City, the love for her craft helped her overcome the obstacles. And then, despite the immense competition in her field and the half-healed blisters on her fingers from plucking, she decided that this was her path.

Frank Sinatra School of the Arts’ (FSSA) senior Mattelyn Moses dreams of a career in the world of professional jazz and teaching. Out of the hundreds of inner city kids with talent to spare, her fulfillment as a young musician would come from just helping one.

Mattelyn decided not to be only a professional musician, gigging in the cornerstones of NYC jazz clubs, but the musical mentor for other kids that she once needed herself. While still maintaining her academic studies, she practically lives and breathes practice, rehearsal, and performance, perfecting her craft and working twice as hard to make a name for herself on a widely male dominated instrument.

“I love the bass because I found my identity in it and it saved me from feeling small my entire life,” Moses says. “I want to give a voice to all the kids who feel like they don’t have one.”

Mattelyn hopes to eventually change the dynamic of getting into the music industry for young people.

“It’s pretty rare to see a young black bassist leading a jazz ensemble,” Moses explains. “It’s even harder for kids who don’t have the resources but have such amazing talent.”

She plans on doing something to change that. Mattylen hopes that through performing and teaching she can mentor musically gifted teens about the ins and out of the business and how to get their feet in the door.

She hopes to be a resource for those who don’t have one, so that the world of jazz and music as a whole is as sundry and diverse as it’s ever been.

– by Sophie Ming 19