Michael is the founded CMA in his living room in 2003. He is originally from Mt. Sterling, Kentucky, though he lived in Seattle for more than a decade before recently relocating to Los Angeles. He plays and teaches piano, voice, songwriting/composition, music production/mixing, improvisation and pedagogy/career consultation for music teachers and professional musicians around the US. Michael began playing music at age five. Both of his parents were music teachers in public education.
He graduated from the reknowned University of Miami School of Music, where he earned a BA in Jazz Studies in Piano Performance.
Michael currently available to only work with teachers, performers or advanced students via the web.
Here is an overview of Michael's teaching and lecturing highlights:
- In 2003, founded the Creative Music Adventures music school in Seattle where students of all ages were asked to be able to perform traditional piano music as well as modern, jazz and improvised music.
- In 2016, released a comprehensive teaching method that was written and tested at Creative Music Adventures (and elsewhere) since 2007.
- Since 2009, students have received over $1,000,000 in music scholarships to universities and conservatories.
- Students have received eight Student Downbeat Awards in the middle school and high school categories of performance (piano and jazz voice), jazz composition, music engineering and original composition.
- Former students have headlined mid-sized jazz festivals in the US and Canada with their own groups. They have performed in large jazz festivals in the US, Canada and Europe as leaders of their own groups.
- Several students have performed at Lincoln Center in New York and been awarded Outstanding Soloists during the Essentially Ellington festival hosted by Wynton Marsalis.
- Former students have toured as sidemen and women for arena tours and smaller venues for acts in many genres including rock, pop, hip-hop and jazz
- Former students have been featured soloists or producers on singles by Macklemore and Travis Scott.
- For over 12 years, taught between 30-40 private students a week at Creative Music Adventures.
Presented Lectures at the Following National Music Teacher Conferences
- 2007 - MTNA National and CFMTA Conference - Toronto, ON
- 2008 - MTNA National Conference - Denver, CO
- 2009 - MTNA National Conference - Atlanta, GA
- 2013 - MTNA National Conference - Anaheim, CA
Presented Lectures at the Following Local and State Music Teacher Meetings and Conferences
- 2002 - WSMTA State Conference in Tacoma, WA
- 2002 - Edmonds Chapter Meeting in Edmonds, WA
- 2003 - Snohomish Chapter Meeting in Snohomish, WA
- 2003 - Eastside Chapter Meeting in Bellevue, WA
- 2004 - WSMTA State Conference in Spokane, WA
- 2004 - District I, II, II Conference in Marysville, WA
- 2004 - Seattle Chapter Meeting in Seattle, WA
- 2005 - TMTA (Texas Music Teacher Association) State Conference in Texas
- 2008 - District V Conference in Wenatchee, WA
- 2008 - Edmonds Chapter Meeting in Edmonds, WA
- 2013 - Seattle Chapter Meeting in Seattle, WA
- 2015 - Seattle Chapter Meeting in Seattle, WA
- 2015 - Seattle Pacific University Lecture in Seattle, WA
- 2017 - WSMTA State Conference in Shoreline, WA
As a performer, Michael has toured throughout the USA, Central America and Canada, and has performed locally at The Triple Door Mainstage, The Moore Theater, The Tractor Tavern, The Royal Room, and many other venues. Michael has released several albums on both NCM East and CMA Records. These include his years as a member of the The Jongleurs where he toured and released four recordings between 1995 and 1999. In 2003, he released Spirit Tuck, in 2007 The Fantastic Adventures of an Amphibian Named Jamal, and in 2011 released Fascination Nation. Michael has had the honor of playing alongside many notable musicians throughout his career, including Michael Shrieve (Santana), Lee Oskar (WAR), Randy Brecker, Reggie Watts, John Wicks (Fitz and the Tantrums), Louis Cole, Genevieve Artadi, KJ (Kevin) Sawka, Wayne Horvitz, Cuong Vu, Robin Holcomb, Aiko Shimada, Alan White (Yes & John Lennon), and M. Doughty (Soul Coughing), amongst others.