MATT JAFFE is a 20 year old singer/songwriter from the San Francisco Bay Area. With influences ranging from The Clash, Elvis Costello, and Talking Heads to Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and Fela Kuti, Matt performs regularly throughout the Bay Area, SoCal and NYC.

Matt was ‘discovered’ playing solo at an open mic by ex-Talking Head JERRY HARRISON , who has helped mentor and create Matt’s unique sound. In bringing the ambitions of the studio to rambunctious life onstage, Matt sought out the youthful rhythm section of PAUL PALDINO and THOMAS YOPES and guitarist ADAM NASH to round out the Distractions. Together with acclaimed producer MATTHEW KING KAUFMAN (Jonathan Richman, Greg Kihn, The Rubinoos) they have completed Matt’s first EP of original music - BLAST OFF - released in April 2015.

The band's growing footprint has been propelled by first place accolades at the 2013 Marin County Battle of the Bands and the 2013 and 2014 Mill Valley Memorial Day Parades. The single, 'I Wanna Be Cruel' was named a finalist in the 2013 UnSigned Only Songwriting Competition. 'Armistice Day' was the top song in the 2014 International Songwriting Competition Social Cause category and a finalist in the Teen section. And following a multi-step process including on-line voting and two live performances, the band was crowned champions of the San Francisco Hard Rock Cafe Battle of the Bands 2014. In September and October 2015, the band had their first national tour, performing in 23 cities across the USA opening for BLUES TRAVELER. Please be on the look out for other upcoming performances and releases - thank you for your interest and support!



Our EP BLAST OFF is available for download and streaming:


Upcoming Shows

February 12 The Castle (solo) Seattle, WA More info
February 13 The Campbell Club (solo) Eugene, OR More info
February 14 The Jade Lounge (solo) Portland, OR Check back soon!
March 4 DNA Lounge San Francisco, CA Get tickets
March 8 Bazaar Café (solo) San Francisco, CA Free!
March 19 The Fillmore San Francisco, CA Get tickets
March 29 Doc's Lab San Francisco, CA Get tickets
April 22 Showcase Theater San Rafael, CA Get tickets
April 23 Hopmonk Tavern Novato Novato, CA Check back soon!
July 2 Marin County Fair San Rafael, CA More info

Previous Shows (2013-2016)

January 9 Hopmonk Tavern Novato, CA
January 21 Hotel Café Los Angeles, CA
February 5 DNA Lounge San Francisco, CA
February 10 Kelly's Olympian Portland, OR
February 11 Northern Pacific Coffee Co. Tacoma, WA
January 2 924 Gilman Berkeley, CA
January 17 Sweetwater Mill Valley, CA
February 11 Sweetwater Mill Valley, CA
February 21 Yale College New Haven, CT
March 7 Sweetwater Mill Valley, CA
March 13 Bar Matchless New York, NY
March 14 The Nest Philadelphia, PA
March 15 Dad's House State College, PA
March 16 City Grows Pittsburgh, PA
March 17 Uncommon Ground Chicago, IL
March 18 Reggie's Chicago, IL
March 19 Wolf Haus Athens, OH
March 20 Electric Maid Washington, DC
March 21 Fennario Coffee West Chester, PA
March 22 Meatlocker Montclair, NJ
April 15 City Winery Napa, CA
May 2 FiestaVal 2015 San Francisco, CA
May 17 Bay To Breakers San Francisco, CA
May 25 Mill Valley Memorial Day Festival Mill Valley, CA
June 10 Tractor Tavern Seattle, WA
June 12 Brick and Mortar San Francisco, CA
June 13 Roxy Hollywood, CA
June 14 House of Blues San Diego, CA
June 28 Vinyl Oakland, CA
July 1 City Winery Napa, CA
July 2 Marin County Fair San Rafael, CA
July 5 Corte Madera Summer Series Corta Madera, CA
July 19 Hopmonk Tavern Novato, CA
July 25 UC Santa Cruz Santa Cruz, CA
August 5 City Winery (solo) Napa, CA
August 11 Sweetwater (solo) Mill Valley, CA
August 15 San Francisco Street Food Festival San Francisco, CA
August 15 Neck of the Woods San Francisco, CA
August 23 Sweetwater Mill Valley, CA
September 8 Paradise Rock Club Boston, MA
September 9 Irving Plaza New York, NY
September 11 The Fillmore Silver Spring, MD
September 15 Dreamforce @ Moscone Center San Francisco, CA
September 18 Oceano Hotel Half Moon Bay, CA
September 22 Civic Theatre New Orleans, LA
September 24 Emo's Austin, TX
September 25 House of Blues Houston, TX
September 26 House of Blues Dallas, TX
September 28 Cain's Ballroom Tulsa, OK
September 29 The Blue Note Columbia, MO
October 1 Mill City Nights Minneapolis, MN
October 2 Turner Hall Ballroom Milwaukee, WI
October 3 House of Blues Chicago, IL
October 6 Weber State University Ogden, UT
October 8 Knitting Factory Spokane, WA
October 10 The Showbox Seattle, WA
October 11 Revolution Hall Portland, OR
October 15 The Fillmore San Francisco, CA
October 17 Marina Green San Francisco, CA
October 18 Troubadour Los Angeles, CA
October 19 House of Blues Anaheim, CA
October 21 Livewire Scottsdale, AZ
October 22 Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas, NV
December 6 Winterfest (afternoon) Mill Valley, CA
December 6 DNA Lounge San Francisco, CA
December 23 Sweetwater Mill Valley, CA
January 5 Fenix San Rafael, CA
January 10 50 Mason Social Club San Francisco, CA
January 17 Leftfield New York, NY
March 8 Ocean Beach San Francisco, CA
March 14 Hard Rock Cafe San Francisco, CA
March 18 Hotel Utah San Francisco, CA
March 20 The Mint Los Angeles, CA
April 2 Cafe 9 New Haven, CT
April 4 Hard Rock Cafe San Francisco, CA
April 25 Yale College New Haven, CT
April 26 Pier 39 San Francisco, CA
April 27 Hard Rock Cafe San Francisco, CA
May 15 Slim's San Francisco, CA
May 17 Ghiradelli Square Fest San Francisco, CA
May 25 Caledonia Street Fair Sausalito, CA
May 25 Fenix San Rafael, CA
May 26 Mill Valley Memorial Day Parade Mill Valley, CA
May 26 Mill Valley Memorial Day Festival Mill Valley, CA
May 30 Off The Grid Fort Mason San Francisco, CA
June 14 Marin Independent Journal San Rafael, CA
June 19 Mojo Blues Bar Copenhagen, Denmark
July 5 Starry Plough Berkeley, CA
July 8 The Federal Hollywood, CA
July 10 Sweetwater Mill Valley, CA
July 21 Winter's Tavern Pacifica, CA
July 24 50 Mason Social House San Francisco, CA
July 26 UC Santa Cruz Santa Cruz, CA
July 27 Bottom of the Hill San Francisco, CA
August 16 Starry Plough (solo) Berkeley, CA
August 17 Mill Valley Concerts on the Plaza Mill Valley, CA
August 23 Yale College New Haven, CT
October 9 Rockwood Music Hall New York, NY
October 10 216 Dwight New Haven, CT
October 11 The Saint Asbury Park, NJ
October 17 Cafe 9 New Haven, CT
October 20 The Space Hamden, CT
November 7 The Space Hamden, CT
November 21 Harvard College Cambridge, MA
November 29 142 Throckmorton Theatre Mill Valley, CA
December 4 Yale College New Haven, CT
December 5 Columbia University New York, NY
December 19 Hard Rock Cafe San Francisco, CA
December 20 Starry Plough Berkeley, CA
December 23 Sweetwater Mill Valley, CA
December 28 Bottom of the Hill San Francisco, CA
January 2 Iron Springs Fairfax, CA
January 6 Starry Plough Berkeley, CA
January 14 Central Santa Monica, CA
January 30 Hopmonk Tavern Novato, CA
February 8 First Edition Petaluma, CA
February 9 Battle of the Bands San Rafael, CA
February 20 Roxy Hollywood, CA
February 28 Fillmore (solo) San Francisco, CA
March 9 Sweetwater Mill Valley, CA
March 30 Slim's San Francisco, CA
April 3 Cafe du Nord (solo) San Francisco, CA
April 19 Dolores Park Cafe San Francisco, CA
April 20 Pacifica Beach Earth Day Festival Pacifica, CA
April 20 924 Gilman Berkeley, CA
April 21 Earth Day Marin (solo) Larkspur, CA
April 21 Sweetwater Mill Valley, CA
April 28 Marin Country Day School Corte Madera, CA
May 3 Hopmonk Tavern Novato, CA
May 15 Roxy Hollywood, CA
May 17 Sullivan Hall (solo) New York, NY
May 27 Mill Valley Memorial Day Parade Mill Valley, CA
June 1 Marin Art and Garden Expo San Rafael, CA
June 9 Novato Art Festival Novato, CA
June 15 Record Plant (solo) Sausalito, CA
June 21 Hopmonk Tavern Novato, CA
June 23 Westfield San Francisco, CA
June 27 142 Throckmorton Mill Valley, CA
June 29 Bazaar Cafe (solo) San Francisco, CA
July 4 Marin County Fair San Rafael, CA
July 11 Bottom of the Hill San Francisco, CA
July 20 Seahorse (solo) Sausalito, CA
July 27 Far West Fest Point Reyes, CA
July 28 Gilroy Garlic Festival Gilroy, CA
July 28 UC Santa Cruz Santa Cruz, CA
August 2 Oakland Art Murmur (solo) Oakland, CA
August 7 Fleetwood's (solo) Maui, HI
August 16 Concert for Casa Tiburon, CA
September 6 Tammany Hall (solo) New York, NY
September 21 Underbrook (solo) New Haven, CT
October 11 Fat Baby (CBGB Festival) New York, NY
October 12 Times Square (CBGB Festival) New York, NY
October 13 Toad's Place New Haven, CT
October 19 Living Room (CMJ Music Festival) New York, NY
October 20 Yale College New Haven, CT
November 8 Dartmouth College Hanover, NH
November 24 Brick and Mortar San Francisco, CA
November 26 Starry Plough Berkeley, CA
November 29 Sweetwater Mill Valley, CA
November 30 Sweetwater (solo) Mill Valley, CA
December 5 The Space Hamden, CT
December 24 Fiddler's Elbow (solo) Rome, Italy
December 26 Bottom of the Hill San Francisco, CA
December 27 19 Broadway Fairfax, CA
December 28 San Francisco Zoo San Francisco, CA

Where We've Been


"Jaffe’s sound is certainly eclectic, completely unexpected, and undeniably catchy - an effervescent marriage of punk-rock hooks and funky, rockabilly melodies. You’ll find nothing else like it in mainstream today, but it’s not an accident. The twenty-year-old frontman wears his influences on his sleeve, summoning cues from The Clash, Bob Dylan and Talking Heads. Jaffe exudes an effortless James Dean vibe with a stage presence reminiscent of Young Americans-era David Bowie." MUSIC EXISTENCE

"A New York concertgoer is no stranger to the cool smolder of Irving Plaza’s chandelier lighting, and the hushed excitement building up to the first note of the night. But even the regulars were blown backwards by Matt Jaffe and Blues Traveler, who nonstop wailed in a retro-rock haze." PANCAKES & WHISKEY

"Boasting raw talent so precocious that you find yourself wondering why in the hell you didnÍt do anything like this when you were 20, Matt Jaffe sounds like he's already hit full stride on his debut EP Blast Off." POPMATTERS

"Blast Off ... channels the frenetic, angular sound of the singer's favorite artists, including Elvis Costello and the Talking Heads." SF CHRONICLE

"The 19-year-old singer-songwriter creates self-assured music that brings you back to 1970s pop-punk a time when Elvis Costello, X and the Clash ruled." MYSPACE

"Blast Off cops new-wave vibes from Talking Heads, a little rockabilly sneer from The Clash, and coats everything with a power-pop sheen that pays homage to Bay Area forebear Green Day." ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

"One of the freshest new sounds of the year is coming out of San Francisco, by way of nineteen-year-old Matt Jaffe, and his band The Distractions." LAST FM

"With this rather sensational debut, Jaffe could very well be blasting off to the kind of break-out success his talent deserves." MARIN IJ

"Jaffe has perfected his modern take on rockabilly, new wave and indie pop-punk-rock, fusing them together for an unforgettable listening experience on his brand new EP with the Distractions, Blast Off." DIFFUSER

"The only thing sharper than that diamond-cuttingly-sharp coif are his lyrics and riffs." BLACK BOOK

"Best New Song by an Artist Born During the Whitewater Scandal: 'Put Your Finger in the Socket' by 19-year-old Matt Jaffe and his SF-based band the Distractions. Classic songcraft, weird and compelling vox, formidable on-camera charm... this is the Elvis Costello / Tyler Oakley lovechild we've been waiting for." PAPER MAGAZINE

"Though Jaffe is just 19-years-old, he has already made a name for himself in the northern California rock scene. Jaffe & The Distractions proudly wear their influences on their sleeves, featuring the rock sensibility of the Clash with the memorable songwriting and tone of Elvis Costello. On 'Put Your Finger In The Socket', Jaffe manages to reinforce why this vintage sound is back in the limelight while simultaneously adding his own modern spin to the genre." ELMORE MAGAZINE

"There's no way around it: hearing a performer this good at 19 years old is notable." KALW

"San Francisco based Matt Jaffe's enthusiasm for pop rock is palpable and he is more than equipped to spread the gospel." THE VINYL DISTRICT

"All too often, it seems that music is being written and produced so sleekly that it can just blend into everyday life, without jolting you. We want to jolt the listener. We do not want to be elevator music." (Matt Jaffe) HUFFINGTON POST

"He's a great talent, and many people will hear of him in the future." (Jerry Harrison) MARIN IJ

"But his charm is far more than cute; his voice is distinctive – there is nothing like it in the hard rock world. And his guitar-playing is superb – grounded in years of classical training that makes the instrument an extension of his body and his mind." MUSIC JUNKIE PRESS

"The coolest thing about his music is it really doesn’t sound like anyone else. His style has similarities to Frank Sinatra but with a modern rock twist." THAT'S WHY WE MUSYC

Press Archive


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