Propelled by an ambitious goal to one day be signed by a major label, coupled with their exceptional lyrics and innovative sound, the Matt Valerio Band is bound for greatness. Featuring four Eastman School of Music jazz majors – sophomores Matt Valerio as the lead vocalist, Jesse Breheney on the bass and Dave Tedeschi on the drums and Wes Smith on the saxophone – the band mirrors the sounds of beloved Dave Matthews and John Mayer and has recently released their first CD entitled “Love Again.”

In one of their songs, “The Same,” Valerio sings “Yesterday seems so far away, but I know that tomorrow, ain’t nothing gonna change, cuz even though I start a brand new day, a brand new day is meaningless if every thing just stays the same,” but for this band each new day brings them more and more popularity with a fanbase growing at Eastman and around Rochester.

Currently, the guys have been playing at local coffee shops and bars, including an upcoming appearance at Tiki Bobs next Friday. The band has a versatile sound, where they can fit in well at a quiet coffee shop, singing slow ballads like “Carousal,” or at a popular bar, performing some more upbeat songs, appropriate for such a venue, like “Love Again.”

“We are definitely a live band,” Tedeschi said. “We feed off of the audience’s energy.”

Tedeschi explained that the band was formed last year when they would laugh at Valerio for claiming that he was going to be famous when he graduated. “Little did I know, he is an amazing songwriter,” Tedeschi said. Now, the four best friends come up with the arrangements for their songs together, with each one coming from a different part of the country – Valerio is from Rochester, Breheney from Newburgh, Smith from California and Tedeschi from Wisconsin – and bringing different experiences with them.

In their song, “Young and Free,” Valerio sings a line, “We gotta laugh while we’re young and free,” which he says sums up the vibe of the band. He is the one who writes the music and lyrics. “I’m really inspired by the feelings of those closest to me. If they’re going through trouble, or if they’re feeling great, or if I’m feeling great, it all comes out in the music,” Valerio said.

The band has 25 original songs that they perform, with 10 on the CD.

The feedback they have received so far has all been positive, and their sounds can be heard on MySpace at

“Music is our passion. We want to spread our passion to anyone who is willing to listen to us. I’m all about personal connections with music. If my music can affect someone emotionally in any way, I’ve done my job,” Valerio said.

Paret can be reached at

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