5x Downbeat Magazine Student Award Winner 2013-2015
Outstanding Soloist Award at Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival 2015
Finalist in 2016 Eastman Winds "Perform With Mintzer" Competition
Finalist (2nd place) in ASMAC (American Society of Music Arrangers & Composers) Bill Conti Big Band Competition
Featured several big band arrangements on Paul Colardarci's KUNV Radio Show "Swingin' With the Big Bands" 2014
Featured Interview in Las Vegas' "Jazz Notes" Magazine November 2015 Issue
Carlos Mata-Alvarez holds a BM in Jazz Studies from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas & a MM in Jazz & Commercial Writing from the Frost School of Music. During his studies at UNLV his large & small ensemble compositions/arrangements were recorded & released commercially on three CD’s from 2013-2015. He was a recipient of multiple student downbeat magazine awards & also had the opportunity to perform regularly as a finalist at the Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival in Monterey, CA.
Carlos received a fellowship through the Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra to further pursue his studies in Miami, FL at the Frost School of Music. Carlos worked as a graduate assistant for the flagship commercial orchestra at the Frost School (HMI Orchestra), specifically as an assistant composer/arranger, librarian/copyist & social media coordinator for all of their concerts and events throughout the South Florida area. Carlos worked closely with Shelly Berg (Dean of the FSOM) - a Grammy nominated composer, pianist, TED speaker, and former head of Jazz Studies at USC - completing arrangements and orchestrations for guest artists such as Steve Miller, Jimmie Vaughan, Dave Grusin, Clint Holmes, Niki Haris, and Ann Hampton Callaway. In the jazz department he worked closely with his private instructor Gary Lindsay (author of “Jazz Arranging Techniques from Quartet to Big Band,”) as well as grammy winning band leader John Daversa, film composers Chirs Boardman & Carlos Rivera, & HMI director Stephen Guerra. While living in Miami, Carlos formed his own group (the CMA Miami Qtet) which premiered at some of the finest jazz clubs in South Florida including Lagniappe, Le Chat Noir, & the Arts Garage. He also frequently performed at other well-known commercial venues including the Arsht Center, Ball & Chain, the Fish House & worked as a professional freelance saxophonist & composer.
As a freelance professional in Vegas, he worked as a member of the house band for “A tribute to Ray Charles: Georgia on My Mind” at the Venetian which featured Clint Holmes, Kirk Whalum, Vocal Group Take 6, and Nnenna Freelon. He also worked for Las Vegas' Classic nightly show “The Rat Pack is Back” at the Rio, & for the long running production show at Planet Hollywood titled “Zombie Burlesque.” He then played woodwinds for a new Disney produced musical titled “When you Wish” and the classic “Beauty and the Beast” at the Tuacahn Performing Arts Center in St. George, Utah. Carlos now frequently performs as a leader & sideman at the Dispensary Lounge Jazz Club, the E-String, the Sand Dollar, Red Rock Hotel & Casino, & the Smith Center among other popular music venues. He teaches jazz & commercial writing, saxophone, & piano at the UNLV School of Music & has also recently has been commissioned to write new pieces for schools throughout the Las Vegas valley. Carlos also worked as a sub on the hit production show at the Palazzo titled "BAZ - A musical tour de force”, playing the keyboard/woodwind chair, & is currently subbing the keyboard chair & woodwind chairs respectively, on “Vegas! The Show” at Planet Hollywood.