Mat Domber, Arbors Records Founder, Dies
Date Posted: 2012-10-03

Label was launched in 1989 to preserve the sound of classic jazz

By Jeff Tamarkin   » Jazz Times Online

Mat Domber, the founder and president of the jazz label Arbors Records, died in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Sept. 19, as the result of cancer. Domber was 84.

According to JazzTimes contributor Ken Franckling, Domber, who was a lawyer, created Arbors in 1989 and began recording classic jazz artists—from Dixieland to mainstream swing — “who weren’t getting the attention they deserved. Over the next 20-plus years, they found a welcome home on his Clearwater, Fla.-based label. What began as a labor of love for Mat and his wife/business partner Rachel, evolved into a significant force on the jazz scene.”

Domber released over 300 recordings on the label, by a diverse roster of artists including Ruby Braff, Kenny Davern, Bob Haggart, Dick Hyman, Dave McKenna, Bucky Pizzarelli, Flip Phillips, Ralph Sutton, Johnny Varro and Bob Wilber to Howard Alden, Harry Allen, Dan Barrett, Scott Hamilton, Rebecca Kilgore, Nicki Parrott, Ken Peplowski, Daryl Sherman, Rossano Sportiello and Aaron Weinstein. The label’s first release, in 1990, was by Rick Fay’s Hot Five. Trombonist/cornetist Dan Barrett, represented on approximately 50 Arbors CDs, is the label’s most recorded artist.

Said Harry Allen, "Mat Domber was profoundly kind, gentle and generous. His love of jazz was unparalleled. Through his countless recordings, many festivals and other ventures like the Statesmen of Jazz, he greatly improved the lives of jazz musicians and jazz fans all over the world. He was a great man."

“In many cases,” wrote Franckling, “Arbors was a career revivalist for many significant elder statesmen of jazz and a career nurturer for younger players who loved and felt most comfortable in the classic jazz style.”

Domber became interested in jazz as a teenager, when his father took him to Greenwich Village to hear Pee Wee Russell and Muggsy Spanier.

Domber’s wife Rachel, his partner at the company, was with him at the time of his death.

This article was reprinted > to view the article in it's entirety, please visit Jazz Times Online Magazine

Archived News
Lucien Barbarin (1956-2020)
Trombonist for Preservation Hall and Harry Connick Jr., dies at 63.
Ginger Baker (1939-2019)
Peter Edward 'Ginger' Baker was an English drummer known the world for his work with 1960s jazz and rock bands Cream and Blind Faith as well as his later work with African poly-rhythms and collaborations with Fela Kuti and Afro Beat music.
Marlene VerPlanck (1933-2018)
Marlene VerPlanck, who recorded 24 albums for Audiophile in a career that stretched sixty years back into the Swing Era, died January 14. She was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer back in November but continued to work until a few weeks ago even though the effort necessary to travel to the club and sing took everything out of her.
Wendell Eugene (1923-2017)
Trombonist Wendell Eugene, one of the last of New Orleans' Creole jazzmen, died October 12 at the age of 94.
Lionel Ferbos, the longest-tenured jazz trumpeter in New Orleans, dies at 103
Trumpeter Lionel Ferbos, who enjoyed a late-in-life celebrity as the oldest active jazz musician in New Orleans, died early Saturday, July 19. He celebrated his 103rd birthday two nights earlier, on July 17, at a party at the Palm Court Jazz Café, a favorite venue of his.
I Like (Ukulele) Ike - by Jon Pult
Clifton A. Edwards was born on June 14, 1895 in Hannibal, Missouri. He made hundreds of recordings over the course of his career...
Mat Domber, Arbors Records Founder, Dies
Label was launched in 1989 to preserve the sound of classic jazz
Happy 101st Birthday Lionel Ferbos
New Orleans native Lionel Ferbos has been playing the trumpet for well over seven decades. At 101-years-old on Tuesday, he'll perform at his birthday party!
UNCLE LIONEL R.I.P. (1931-2012)
One of New Orleans most favorite artists, Uncle Lionel Batiste, passed away Sunday morning, July 8. He was 81 years old and died after a short illness.
Carrie Smith (1925-2012)
Vocalist Carrie Smith, 86, died of cancer May 20 at the Booth Actors' Home, Englewood, NJ.
Joe Muranyi (1928-2012)
Clarinetist Joe Muranyi died of congestive heart failure in New York on April 30. Muranyi was best known as the clarinetist in the last version of Louis Armstrong's All-Stars.
We Mourn The Passing of Ernie Carson (1937-2012)
Cornetist Ernie Carson, one of the most prolific GHB/Jazzology artists, died January 9 in Portland OR.
Updated Postal Shipping Rates - Please Read!
We've made updates to our shipping rates and policies.
New Black Swan Label Sampler
Black Swan is the home of early rarities from the legendary Paramount label.
Jazzology is now on Facebook™
Follow us online at Facebook™ @ GHBJazzFoundation