PhillyFolk Artists

Matthew Smith

Instrument Maker and Percussionist

Matthew Smith is an instrument maker and percussionist living just outside Philadelphia. For over twenty years, he has been making high quality percussion instruments out of his own shop, Ritmo Studios. His instruments have traveled the world, used by some of the finest Latin music groups and orchestras. He makes congas, bongos, timbales, cowbells and other percussion instruments, and is admired by many of Philadelphia’s great percussionists for his exceptional work. For PFP’s Community Supported Arts program in 2012, Mr. Smith made by hand 50 limited edition cowbells. He says, “They are of steel and are not bent by machine. They are hand hammered and each one is tuned to be a beautiful-sounding instrument. It’s the instrument that elevates the music and gets people up and dancing!” Mr. Smith was a recipient of a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts grant for traditional and folk arts.