Matthew Shipp (born December 7, 1960) is an American pianist, composer and bandleader.
Shipp was raised in Wilmington, Delaware, and began playing piano at six years old. His mother was friend of trumpeter Clifford Brown.
He was strongly attracted to jazz, but also played in rock groups while in high school. Shipp attended the University of Delaware for one year, then the New England Conservatory of Music, where he studied with saxophonist/composer Joe Maneri. He has cited private lessons with Dennis Sandole (who also taught saxophonist John Coltrane) as being crucial to his development.
Shipp has been very active since the early 1990s, appearing on dozens of albums as a leader, sideman or producer. He was initially most active in free jazz, but has since branched out, notably exploring music that touches on contemporary classical, hip hop and electronica. His dense, percussive style is often compared to Cecil Taylor's, although Shipp has argued such comparisons are mostly superficial.
Shipp has long been a member of saxophonist David S. Ware's quartet. He has recorded or performed with many musicians, including William Parker, DJ Spooky, Joe Morris, Daniel Carter, Roscoe Mitchell, Mat Maneri, High Priest and Beans of Antipop Consortium, and El-P.