Matt Buth
PHOTO COURTESY MARY BUTH ‘EVERYONE KNEW HIM’ — Pictured is Matt Buth, a DeLandite who was well-known in the Downtown DeLand area and DeLand music scene. Buth died by suicide in 2019, but his legacy will live on through college scholarships awarded to local music students.

Update, April 27:

The Matt Buth Jazz Festival, an outdoor day of music dedicated to a DeLand musician who died by suicide, has been canceled.

Event tickets can be refunded by contacting Adesso by email at Beckyadesso@mattbuthfoundation.org, or by sending a message to the Matt Buth Foundation Facebook page, HERE.


Downtown DeLand will welcome a new jazz event this May — the Matt Buth Jazz Festival — a joint venture of the Matt Buth Foundation and Cafe DaVinci. The event’s purpose is to raise money for college scholarships in honor of its namesake.

The event will feature live jazz from high-school jazz ensembles and other local musicians, and proceeds will fund the Matt Buth Foundation’s college scholarships for local music students. 

The festival is named for Matt Buth, a local musician and DeLand High School student who died by suicide in 2019. Last year, his friends set up the Matt Buth Foundation, a nonprofit organization funding college scholarships for local music students and suicide prevention organizations through various fundraising events. 

Between the nonprofit’s first fundraising event, a brunch at The Table Restaurant, along with various sponsorships, President Becky Adesso said they have raised enough money to award two $2,500 college scholarships at the end of this school year.

Adesso said building a jazz festival around Buth’s legacy was a no-brainer. 

“Matt and jazz just fit. He loved jazz,” she said. “He played many instruments, but he played the saxophone because he loved jazz, and he played beautifully.”

The event’s headliner, a reunited DaVinci Jazz Experiment, featured Buth on sax for several of the band’s performances. The band will include original members Taz Bartlett, John Tichenor, Jeff Shepherd, Todd Sneeringer and Russ White.

The jazz fest will also include a raffle with prizes courtesy of various local businesses and other donors, including a copy of Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler’s autobiography, Walk This Way, signed by Tyler. Raffle winners will need to be present to take home their prizes and tickets will be available during the event.

On top of those prizes, there’s one big, grand prize — a guitar signed by Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler. Tickets for the guitar raffle will be separate and are available for purchase ahead of the event. The guitar winner need not be present to win.

Guitar raffle tickets are $20 each, and only 200 will be available. Tickets can be purchased with cash or check at various Downtown DeLand businesses including Abbey Bar, Pretty Little Things, The Elusive Grape, NEST, Sidecar Home Market and Bar, and The West Volusia Beacon office. If raffle tickets are still available by May 7, Adesso said, they will be available for purchase at the festival. 

The jazz fest will run 1-8 p.m. Saturday, May 7, at Cafe DaVinci. Admission tickets cost $10 and are available now at The DeLand Stockyard, Pretty Little Things, NEST and The West Volusia Beacon office, as well as online and at the door.

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