Matt DiBiase - PlexusPlay, Jazz Road Tours Grant Recipient

Self-described “music technologist” Matt DiBiase—known professionally as PlexusPlay—received a Jazz Road Tours grant. With these funds, he built a trip from his home in Southern California up the West Coast, developing connections and audience along the way. We asked Matt to reflect on his journey.

Matt DiBiase after his performance in Seattle.
Matt DiBiase after his performance in Seattle.

As a performer and artist, Matt combines his work as a vibraphonist, visual designer, and technology enthusiast to create unique experiences for audiences. Initially developed as part of a TEDx presentation, Matt’s latest work has focused on building a unique “choose your own adventure” concert for audiences. With initial help from some friends and colleagues that he hired, he developed a cellphone-friendly service that allows audiences to vote on different scenarios; the audience members can see the vote totals for different options, and change their votes at any time, allowing for a regularly changing experience. These results are monitored by Matt on stage as he is performing, and automatically fed into his Ableton Live digital audio workstation. Depending on how the votes move, this can trigger any type of performance ranging from fast-paced electronic dance music to a guided meditation process. The automations and monitoring process allow Matt to perform and connect with his audience while the digital components react to the processes triggered by audience members’ votes.

With funds from his Jazz Road Tours grant, Matt was able to foster new and deep connections with artists, leaders, and communities. Many of the venues on his tour were non-traditional places for a performance, including art galleries and community spaces. He used his funds to engage and collaborate with local musicians as well as to produce unique events at each stop. For Matt, leaning into the local community and activating these spaces with vibrant art rooted in local people was a vital component of the tour, and key to bringing out audiences in each community. The Jazz Road Tours funds put Matt in the driver’s seat while planning his tour, allowing him to curate the experience for himself and audiences. Additionally, Matt was able to pay himself a wage, offsetting his time off from work in his home area.

There is also longer-term growth that this tour affords Matt in his career. The connections and colleagues he made along the way are opening up potential performances and collaborations at future festivals or other opportunities. He has also developed new audiences for his work, who would not have any other chances to experience it. At one stop in Seattle, for example, an audience member came up to Matt after his performance and gave him a hug; the person explained that this was their first in-person concert after surviving a shooting at a music festival years prior, and thanking him for helping to move past that trauma.

Jazz Road aims to give artists the tools and resources to advance their work and build new audiences. It is made possible with funds from the Doris Duke Foundation and additional support from the Mellon Foundation. As a national program, Jazz Road is led by South Arts in partnership with the five other U.S. Regional Arts Organizations (Arts Midwest, Mid-America Arts Alliance, Mid Atlantic Arts, New England Foundation for the Arts, and Western Arts Alliance/Western States Arts Federation). Matt joins 47 other artists in FY2023 who received more than $1M in investments supporting their work through Jazz Road Tours and Jazz Road Creative Residencies grants.

To learn more about Matt and PlexusPlay, visit

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2023 Annual Report