Singer-songwriter Matt Grabowski of Glen Cove has been selected as finalist in the Gold Coast Arts Center Acoustic Cafe’s Your Big Break contest, an acclaim that is well deserved for this hard-working 20-year-old.
Grabowski, a 2014 graduate of Glen Cove High School, has been devoted to perfecting his craft and making a name for himself over the past two years, playing regularly at local venues and in New York City.
“It’s a full-time job,” Grabowski said. “When I’m not playing in clubs, I’m trying to book a club or learning new songs. I’m always practicing or playing guitar.”
To try to gain more exposure, he said he is always looking into new opportunities and submitting to contests. For the Your Big Break contest, he sent in an MP3 of his original song, “Bring the Rains (Down)” and was selected as a quarterfinalist. He then had to play one original song and one cover song for the first round, when he was selected as a semi-finalist. For that round, held on March 12, he played a 20-minute set of three original songs and one cover song, and made the final cut.
On Saturday, April 2, Grabowski and the two other finalists, Jaclyn Manfredi and the Frankel Sisters, will each perform a three-song set prior to an intermission, then come back and play another three-song set. He said some surprises are in store for this performance and he is working hard to perfect his song selections.
The show features a headline performance by past Your Big Break performers Zofolk. The winner will be chosen by judges and audience members and will win prizes and recognition intended to help boost their music careers. Prizes include the chance to open for national acts at major venues like The Emporium; recording time at IndiMusic Studios and online TV streaming opportunities on IndiMusic TV; a feature on Reverbnation.com; musical equipment from All Music Inc. and ZOOM North America; and a PR and social media campaign including management, booking and label services consultation with Rick Eberle Agency.
Grabowski is a regular act at venues including Pint of Plain in Locust Valley, Pat’s Place in Glen Cove, Jack Halyard’s in Oyster Bay and The Oak Room Tavern in Sea Cliff, and also plays fundraisers. He said his ideal week is being booked Wednesday through Saturday, which he is fortunately able to achieve regularly.
For his performances, Grabowski plays a mix of cover songs and original music. He said his writing is sporadic lately, depending on when inspiration hits.
The contest will be on Saturday, April 2, 8 p.m. at Gold Coast Arts Center, 113 Middle Neck Rd., Great Neck. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for students. Visit www.greatneckarts.org or www.thebiggrabowski.org.