Matt "Sinatra" Williams (Vocalist)
Matt is a native of Baltimore, Maryland and has been singing ever since he could walk. He grew up singing in local bands and at church, and says he has been a 'Rat Pack' lover for as long as he can remember. Included in his movie collection, which numbers in the thousands, he has music documentaries and quite a few Rat Pack media. He also has a lot of Victor Borge material.
Matt is first and foremost an entertainer. He loves to entertain the crowd. "If they aren't feeling it", he - in his own words - "have failed them". He also plays trumpet, drums and piano. "I started playing trumpet in elementary school and took private lessons at the Peabody Conservatory of Music. Why trumpet? My mother forced me to play an instrument - leaving the choice of which one up to me. I chose the trumpet because I liked the way the case smelled."
He grew up loving big bands and dancing to their music. In addition to having played in a number of bands, and a lot of studio session work, Matt is also a dancer and for a while danced with the Baltimore Dance Theater. His favorite tunes are those with "bounce" because it "really don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing". He loves anything by Frank Sinatra (and is called 'Matt Sinatra' by friends) and loves the Rat Pack. In addition to jazz, anything by the Tower of Power, especially the song "Maybe It'll Rub Off", which one of the bands he plays trumpet with is a favorite.
In addition to working with the Olney Big Band, Columbia Jazz Ensemble and One Flight Up R&B band, Matt is a producer and a vocal coach - having coached and produced several recording artists, including Grammy award winning Toni Braxton. Additionally, he has worked with and/or produced (1) Kevin Lyles (Former president of Def Jam Recordings, executive vice president of The Island Def Jam Music Group from 1999 to 2004; (2) former executive vice president for Warner Music Group); (3) Traci Hamlin (Pieces of a Dream); and (4) Roy Ayers, to name a few. Artists he has worked with have appeared at The Apollo, on movie soundtracks, CDs, DVDs and in plays. Matt has performed on stage with the likes of Parliament/Funkadelic, Kool & the Gang, Donald Byrd and the Blackbyrds and others. He has also produced commercials for restaurants and has done voice-overs for Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
But as he says, his one true love has always been jazz and he loves singing with the Olney Big Band.
Brad Bawek (Vocalist)
Brad’s earliest recollection of performing is his parents bundling him up against the Minnesota cold and trundling him and his siblings around town to sing Christmas carols. When he wasn’t performing at church, school, or social functions, he was singing along with Lawrence Welk every Saturday night.
Brad attended the University of Minnesota where he studied commercial design and music. He kept the lights on by touring the upper Midwest with the Snowy Wood Band and as a member of the house band at Daddy’s
Money in Dinkytown, MN. At one point, Brad even found himself working as a singing waiter! After Brad moved to DC, he continued to perform for weddings and private functions. In 2004, at the insistence of his amazing wife, Alison, he auditioned for the Olney Big Band (OBB). Being accepted into the OBB was a moment of pure joy. It was cathartic, and Brad knew that he had come full circle from his days of singing along with Lawrence Welk.
In 2014, Brad left the OBB, but rejoined them in 2018 for their 10th anniversary performance of Swing! Swing! Swing! He is honored to be back singing with such an incredible group of amazing musicians.
Brad has entertained audiences at such celebrated venues as the Terp Ballroom, Olney Theatre Center, Strathmore Arts Center, Blues Alley, Black Rock Arts Center, Carroll Arts Center and the prestigious Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. He has made it his mission to keep the spirit of the Great American Songbook alive through his work with the Olney Big Band, The Sunday Night Big Band, and personal appearances as a soloist or part of his combo, Jazz Asylum.