a brief biography...
Introduced to a great variety of
music at an early age, Michael's musical background contains many
influences. These include: Elton John, George Winston,
Michael Gettel and Lyle Mays (piano); Dan Fogelberg, Robert Holmes, Tommy Emmanuel and
Michael Hedges (guitar); Al Green, Daryl Hall, Adam Duritz and Tony Bennett (vocals); Aaron Copland, Franz Reizenstien,
Antonio Vivaldi, Pat Metheny, Justin Hayward, Ian Anderson, Andrew
McMahon (as well as the above writers
This list explains the diverse styles
Michael tends to work in. What ties these artists together, and
serves to inspire Michael, is the importance of melody to their
work. His own compositions not only emphasize melody in the
forefront, but also in background sections. This creates multiple
layers of melody, known as counterpoint. Even drum tracks (deftly
provided by longtime drummer/percussionist Chris Brown) contain a
Michael's first release
of contemporary piano solos, True North,
came in 2004. Well received, this set the stage for
2006's The Road Less Traveled, which performed quite well on New Age
charts and at internet radio. 2007's The Open Door was called by
critics his best work yet. Michael then decided his next effort
would include a much larger production, adding orchestra, guitars, drums
and vocals. That project, Gravity, was released in fall 2011.
"360", his most recent project, was released in November, 2014.
Though it deviates from much of his recent work, it is actually a return
to the various styles of music he both grew up with, and honed his
skills on, featuring rock, pop, jazz and folk.