Longtime Streetlight Manifesto trumpet player Matthew Stewart has died at age 41. The band writes:
Today, Sunday, September 10th, 2023, at around 3:30pm, our friend, trumpet player, and long time Streetlight family member Matthew Brandon Stewart passed away from natural causes. He was surrounded by family and friends. He was 41 years old.
Some of you know Matt strictly from our records or live shows, as a trumpet player whose talent was undeniable; raw, powerful and alive. His playing cut through when it needed to cut through, sang when it was necessary to sing and sat perfectly in the mix when that was what was asked of it. Today you lost a musical powerhouse.
Others of you know Matt a little better, as many of you have interacted with him directly, be it online or after (or before) a show. He was always roaming around, outside of clubs, backstage, next to the bus. And he often had a stranger with him. Whether it was a fan, excited to meet him, a local crew member shooting the shit with a friendly musician or a random homeless dude, sharing a smoke. He was never rude to anyone he met and was quick to make new acquaintances feel comfortable. Today you lost a friendly, wandering spirit, as likely to talk your ear off about jazz as he was to put your name on the guest list of a sold out show.
Then there are the rest of us. We knew him for years, some of us for decades. He was a friend, he was family. A brother, a son, a partner, a father, a bandmate. Some of us got to travel to the furthest corners of the earth with him, laughing, hanging, arguing, drinking, smoking, philosophizing, doing incredibly irresponsible and goofy things, and, on most nights, as he often said “getting onstage and just straight up melting faces”. He was a complex guy, with a lot going on under the surface and a keen eye for observation of our fragile human condition. He was the kind of funny where people would look at each other and ask “where does he come up with this shit?” when delivering some absurd and hilarious story or one liner. Always straight faced when he delivered a sentence or two, usually laden with his own trademark slang, that caused the rest of to instantaneously crack up. Above all, and most simply, he was a good dude. He was a good, good dude. Today, we lost something that simply can’t be put into words. We know what we lost and the world will be a little worse off because of this loss.
Safe travels, Stewie. It was an honor and a joy to melt faces with you, bud. Thanksk.
Tributes from fellow musicians have come in as well. See those and a live video of Matt with Streetlight below.
Rest in peace, Matthew.