Michael studied percussion at the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam and graduated in 1979 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education. He later attended the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University and graduated in 1990 with a Master’s Degree in Jazz Studies.
Michael has performed and/or recorded with jazz luminaries Gary Smulyan, Harry Allen, Sharel Cassity, Bruce Barth, Joe Locke, Rene Flemming, Marian McPartland, Nick Brignola and many others. He was a member of the Planet Arts Trio, the Spike Jones Orchestra and the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra. He has toured the United States extensively, performing at numerous concert halls, colleges, clubs and festivals and has performed in Europe and Africa.
Michael is currently the leader of four ensembles and has released five recordings to date. His most recent album, “Circulation: The Music of Gary McFarland”, was an Editor’s pick in Downbeat Magazine and listed as one of the Best Jazz Albums of 2015 by National Public Radio.
Last year Michael retired from teaching high school instrumental music in Greenville where he taught for twenty-five years. He has served as the past president of the Albany Musicians Union and the Greene County Music Educators Association.