My complete Biography is the content of my website. Peruse all 59 pages including 8 CDs of my music, 80 videos, hundreds of pics from the 70's to present my children's books and more!
Michael began his career in 3rd grade. A classmate for "show and tell" played a trumpet, probably a "Getzen." From that day on he was hooked. His parents bought a bugle for him and after a month or so of blowing on that they decided to splurge and get Michael his first trumpet. It was actually a $5 cornet, he still has it, minus the bell.
Michael continued to play through grade school. He attended Lower Cape May Regional H.S. In Cape May, New Jersey and Edison H.S. in Tulsa, Oklahoma. As a member of the Jazz Band at Edison H.S. he attended competitions at North Texas, in Denton and recorded a couple of LP's.
Michael's next stop was the University of Tulsa where he was awarded a scholarship to attend. After 1 1/2 years the family moved to Milwaukee where he continued his education at the University of Wisconsin. He immediately started playing with the local Latin, jazz and society bands. Michael soon formed a band that played 5 nights a week doing "Fusion." The band was featured on a live 1/2 hour T.V. show.
"Jessica" - 1980, was Michael's fir recording of his original music. It was an EP, the size of a 45 but the speed of a 33. The record was played in the Milwaukee market and became a local hit for him, rising to number 4 on the pop play list of radio station WLUM. It was an instrumental with vocal, reminiscent of "Chuck Mangione". This recording allowed him to develop a client base for private parties, corporate events and nightclubs. He also did T.V. interviews and guest artist appearances throughout the state at high schools and colleges using big band arrangements of his music.
Michael's next recording effort was a 5 song cassette released in 1986 entitled "Lifestories Volume I". His playing schedule continued with the schools as well as all the other playing venues he had developed.
"Welcome To My Island", released in 1991, was Michael's next recording and first CD. By this time his writing and producing skills evolved into a theme, Latin Jazz, Caribbean, Reggae...Vacation Music. With the "Welcome To My Island" CD the "Leblanc Holton Co." from Kenosha, Wisconsin put Michael on their list of clinicians. He continued his concert series with the schools and all other local gigs.
The "Holton Co." in 1992 featured Michael on the cover of their magazine "Lablanc Bell" with an in depth two page article.
1997 arrives and so does his 4th recording "No Tan Lines", continuing the island theme concept. By this time Michael took a break from doing clinics with Holton and in 1998 released his 5th recording "Taste The Fruit". On this project, in addition to his music, two videos are included, as well as one recipe specially designed for each of the nine songs on the disc.
2000 appears with his 6th CD and Michael decides to record some of his romantic ballads, "Savor the Moment" is born.
Michael met with the people at the Getzen Co." from Elkhorn, Wisconsin and a genuine meeting of the minds and spirit takes place. Back into the studio he goes to record his music on a Getzen "Renaissance" trumpet. The product of this collaboration is his 7th CD entitled "It's Nice In Paradise".
The people at Getzen have become fans, friends and active supporters of Michael's playing and his music.
His appearances at clinics, concerts and music camps around the world not only represent his talents but also the wonderful people and instruments that Getzen produces.
Michael lastest CD, Sazzunk, is now available. His bands range from appearing as a soloist all the way up to his 18 piece Caribbean jazz, dance show band.
His CD's have been reviewed in Down Beat, Jazziz Magazine and Jazzreview.com.
Michael has had some wonderful eclectic musical experiences performing with his band as a warm up band for Freddie Hubbard, Jazz Crusaders and played trumpet for Cab Calloway, The Temptations, Bob Hope, Dick Contino as well as Brett Michaels and a college performance with Dizzy Gillespie.
MR. Pickles arrives with two children's poem story books, "The Growing Books" that contain 9 poem stories that have been transformed into musical compositions. Follow this up with 12 more songs in 2016 and an addition of some magic tricks and Michael Drake AKA Mr. Pickles has a jar full of talent good for anyone at any age at any local for any reason!