Hailed as “one of America's pre-eminent young jazz drummers” (OC Weekly), Matt Slocum has also earned a reputation as a distinctive, inventive and lyrical composer. Slocum is the recent recipient of composition grants and commissions from the American Music Center, New Music USA, the Puffin Foundation, Meet the Composer, Mid-Atlantic Arts and New Jersey State Council on the Arts. His ensembles have been featured throughout North America and Europe at venues such as Jazz at Lincoln Center, Yoshi’s, the Blue Note, Earshot Jazz Festival, Saratoga Jazz Festival, Twin Cities Jazz Festival and the Soka International Jazz Festival among others. Frequently referred to as a “musical” drummer, Slocum possesses a uniquely personal voice on the instrument and is a propulsive, melodic and dynamic accompanist and soloist. He has performed and/or recorded with artists such as Seamus Blake, Alan Broadbent, Steve Cardenas, Gerald Clayton, Taylor Eigsti, Aaron Goldberg, Jon Irabagon, Larry Koonse, Wynton Marsalis, Lage Lund, Linda Oh, Alan Pasqua, Jerome Sabbagh, Jaleel Shaw, Walter Smith III, Anthony Wilson, Sam Yahel and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.

Born in St. Paul, Minnesota and raised in western Wisconsin, Slocum began musical studies on piano before switching to percussion at age 11. While in high school he was introduced to jazz through recordings featuring Max Roach and Philly Joe Jones. He received a full scholarship to attend the University of Southern California where he studied with Peter Erskine. After graduating in 2004, Slocum spent three years in California before making the move to New York in fall 2007. His debut recording Portraits was released in January 2010. The New York City Jazz Record raved, “With this excellent premiere, Slocum steps out of the box as the full package,” while All Music Guide wrote, "This auspicious debut should put Matt Slocum's name firmly on the jazz map." After the Storm, a more introspective trio recording, was released in October 2011 and received high marks from DownBeat Magazine, JazzTimes, Los Angeles Times and Jazzwise among others. After the Storm was one of 15 recordings by American composers to receive a New Music USA recording grant in 2011.

Black Elk's Dream, Slocum’s most adventurous and visceral recording to date, features eleven new original works as well as Pat Metheny's "Is This America?". Inspired by the visionary Native American leader Black Elk and the book Black Elk Speaks, Slocum composed and arranged the project for an innovative cast of longtime friends and creative associates including saxophonists Walter Smith III & Dayna Stephens, pianist Gerald Clayton and bassist Massimo Biolcati. On this outing, his third as a leader, Slocum and the ensemble expand significantly upon the artistic promise and chemistry displayed on After the Storm and Portraits.

Black Elk's Dream highlights a distinctive passion for flowing mixed meters, lyrical melodies and unconventional harmonic and improvisational structures. A somewhat unique aspect of Slocum's approach to composition is the way he tailors each piece specifically to the unique voices and strengths of the artists for whom he is writing. JazzTimes describes Slocum as "a thoughtful composer who sets up his team like a savvy point guard running an offense." His writing draws inspiration from a wide range of sources, both within and outside of the jazz idiom. On this project one can hear the influence of Wayne Shorter, Dave Holland, Paul Motian, Billy Strayhorn and Maurice Ravel, yet Slocum's musical language remains largely non-derivative.

Slocum notes, “It’s become increasingly important to me to have a storyline, whether real or imagined, on which to base compositions. I think the directness and imaginative beauty of John Neihardt’s Black Elk Speaks opened some new possibilities to explore in terms of mood and color as well as harmonic and rhythmic frameworks."