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 ALEX COLTHARP and PAUL PALDINO and guitarist ALEX NEWELL to round out the Distractions. Together with acclaimed producer MATTHEW KING KAUFMAN (Jonathan Richman, Greg Kihn, The Rubinoos) and A&R vet MICHAEL CAPLAN 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. Please be on the look out for other upcoming performances and releases - thank you for your interest and support!



Check out our new single, HOLDING ON

Our EP BLAST OFF is available for download and streaming:


Upcoming Shows

December 6 Winterfest (afternoon) Mill Valley More Info
December 6 DNA Lounge San Francisco Get Tickets
December 23 Sweetwater Mill Valley Free!
January 9 Hopmonk Tavern Novato Novato Get Tickets

Previous Shows (2013-2015)

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

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

Press Archive


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