Matthew Garrison was born June 2, 1970 in New York. Here he spent the first eight years of his life immersed in a community of musicians, dancers, visual artists and poets. After the death of his father Jimmy Garrison (John Coltrane’s bassist), his family relocated to Rome, Italy where he began to study piano and bass guitar. In 1988 Matthew returned to the United States and lived with his godfather Jack Dejohnette for two years. Here he studied intensively with both Dejohnette and bassist Dave Holland.