About Subject:Matter

Subject:Matter is a tap dance company based in Boston, MA. Since its founding in 2015, the company has created and performed almost 20 different pieces in more than 50 different venues across the East Coast, Midwest, and Canada. The company has been featured at the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Inside/Out Stage at Jacob’s Pillow, Joe’s Pub in New York City with Dance Now, House of Blues Boston, Musikfest in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, the Montreal Fringe Festival, Stage 773 in Chicago, Illinois, and with a residency at MASS MoCA and The Yard. Subject:Matter is a staple of Boston’s tap dance community, holding jams and community events for all ages. Working through both the dance and music sides of the tap dance genre, Subject:Matter offers pieces that are suitable for the concert dance stage and a music festival. 


Jackson Clayton (Tap dancer)

Jackson Clayton began his formal dance training at Thelma Goldberg’s Dance Inn at age 9. In 2011, Jackson enrolled in his first tap class, and two years later he joined Boston Tap Company under the leadership of Sean C. Fielder. In addition to tap, Jackson studied jazz, contemporary, hip hop, ballet, and modern dance. In 2016, he joined Subject:Matter where he is a dancer and technical coordinator. In addition to performing with Subject:Matter, Jackson is also a member of Caleb Teicher & Company and an alumnus of the 2017 School at Jacob's Pillow Tap Dance program and Tufts University. 

Samantha Emmond (Tap dancer)

Samantha Emmond is originally from Hartford, VT where, at a young age, she started dancing at a studio called Dancers’ Corner. In her training, she attended the St. Louis Tap Festival, M.A.D.D. Rhythms Tap Summit, and the Tap City Pre-Professional Program. Sam was a founding member of a New Orleans based band, Tap That Brass, which featured brass musicians and tap dancers. In 2016, Sam began working with Boston based company Subject:Matter where she is currently the dance captain. Sam was featured, alongside Ian Berg, in Keith Lockhart’s “Boston Pops in Love” with the Boston Pops Orchestra. Sam is an alumna of the School at Jacob’s Pillow Tap Program 2019 and has the privilege of being a weekly student of Dianne Walker since 2017.

 Ian Berg (Tap dancer)

Ian Berg is a Boston-based tap dancer originally from Chicago, Illinois with training and performance experience in tap dance, ballet, modern dance, jazz, and contact improvisation. In high school, Ian trained at the Joffrey Academy in Chicago while also dancing with renowned Chicago based tap company M.A.D.D. Rhythms. Ian is also an alumnus of The School at Jacob’s Pillow and the Boston Conservatory with a BFA in Contemporary Dance Performance. Ian is a current student of master tap dancer Dianne Walker, teacher of the Leon Collins Repertoire. Ian is currently an affiliate professor at Emerson College as well as a guest lecturer at Tufts University teaching tap dance practice and history. He has received recognition as a choreographer from The Yard where he was named a 2019 Bessie Schonberg Fellow, the Boston Foundation where he was named a 2019 Next Steps Awardee, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council which named him a 2020 Choreography Fellow. He also works with tap dance company Subject:Matter. 

Tyson Jackson (Drums)

“Every time I have the opportunity to play music, I count it as an absolute pleasure. Without it, I would not be who I am today. As I create, I never lose focus on the main idea which is that it must be played in order to positively affect and influence the listener.” Born in West Palm Beach, Florida, Tyson Jackson first discovered his love for music at the ripe age of 3. He distinctly remembers discovering his passion for music and the drums at New Bethel Missionary Baptist Church; beating on hymnals during church services was his forte. Throughout his academic career, Tyson has attended performing arts institutions dedicated to music—these institutions further piqued his interest and allowed his love for music to grow. Throughout his musical career, Jackson has been afforded many opportunities to study and be mentored by world-renowned artists, including Dee Dee Bridgewater, Terence Blanchard, Darren Barrett, AJ Wright, Terri Lyne Carrington, Ralph Peterson, Tia Fuller, Sean Jones, Nona Hendryx, etc. Tyson feels that these experiences are invaluable and have truly helped to propel him in his professional career. “As an artist, I realize that I serve as a vessel for music to flow through. It is my duty to continue to pay homage to the masters who have come before me, while incorporating an innovative approach to my artistry, personal brand, and musical endeavors as I develop. 

Chase Morrin (Piano)

Chase Morrin, pianist, composer, educator from San Diego, is known for his diverse musical range spanning jazz, classical, folkloric, and popular traditions. Chase’s music is focused on culturally collaborative projects and humanitarian missions, creating communal spaces for the arts. Chase graduated from Harvard in May of 2015, earning a B.S. in Computer Science and a minor in Neurobiology, and from New England Conservatory (M.M.), 2016. Chase earned a second M.M. at the Global Jazz Institute, Berklee College of Music, 2017. In addition to his studies, he has garnered accolades including four ASCAP Young Jazz Composer awards; nine DownBeat awards in composition, arranging, and performance; five film scoring and composition awards through the Music Teachers’ Association of California (MTAC) and the Young Composers’ Guild, and (YCG) Yamaha Young Performing Artist. Chase premiered his own piano concerto with the Louisville Orchestra in 2016. In addition he has released four albums, including: The Corn Knight, a duo collaboration with marimbaist Yaniv Yacoby; Turtle, a piano trio album with Jonathan Chapman and Jongkuk Kim; and GAPI, a cross-cultural duo project with Korean gagyageum player DoYeon Kim that was recently nominated for a national Korean music award. Chase has toured and performed at a number of world-renowned festivals including the Panama Jazz Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, Reno Jazz Festival, Vail Jazz Festival, Bowdoin International Festival, and Centrum Jazz Festival and has studied with teachers including Danilo Pérez, Vijay Iyer, Bruce Brubaker, Kati Agocs, Fred Hersch, and Jason Moran. Chase also teaches at Berklee College of Music and New England Conservatory. You can find more information and listen to recordings at

Max Ridley (Bass)

Max Ridley is musician, composer and educator based in Boston. He first started participating in music by singing in the school choir and playing bass guitar in a punk band after school. He began his formal studies in high school at the Boston Arts Academy, and it was there that he first fell in love with improvised music and the upright bass. While at Boston Arts Academy, he was selected out of many other young musicians to perform at Boston’s Symphony Hall with the Boston Pops three years in a row. Also during these years, he joined the Berklee City Music program and was able to travel to New York to play for Quincy Jones and his foundation. He was awarded full-tuition scholarships to study at Berklee College of Music for both an undergraduate and graduate degree, earning his graduate degree from the Berklee Global Jazz Institute under the direction of master pianist and educator Danilo Perez. An equally important part of his education was down the street from Berklee at Boston’s historic Wally’s Jazz Cafe. He began going to jam sessions there in high school and, more recently, has been the house bass player every Friday and Saturday night with the Jason Palmer Band. Ridley has shared the stage with renown musicians such as Jeff Coffin, Kenny Werner, Tia Fuller, Ralph Peterson, Terri Lyne Carrington, Jack Dejohnette, Bruce Molsky, Perico Sambeat, Walter Smith III, and Jerry Bergonzi. He has performed in venues such as the Blue Note, Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, the Monterey Jazz Festival, and the Umbria Jazz Festival. He has played many different styles of music all over the US, Canada, and Europe, traveling by plane and staying in hotels, as well as by van and sleeping on couches and floors. Today he is active in New England as a sideman, leader, and co-leader for many different groups, both onstage and in the recording studio. He also teaches music as a guest lecturer at different colleges around New England (such as Longy School of Music and the University of New Hampshire) and at the Hamilton-Garrett Music and Arts Academy. He has also spent some time living in Valencia, Spain and considers that his second home and musical community.