Format: COMPACT DISC
On Bones, his new album release on Artistry Music/Mack Avenue Music Group, virtuosic vocalist/composer and international performer Michael Mayo establishes his place as one of the most acclaimed and versatile voices in music today. But from the time he was small, there was no doubt that Michael would take a musical path through life. The gifted child of two “first-call” L.A. session musicians, he was literally born into the business and spent his childhood listening to and learning, up close, from some of the greatest musical artists of the 20th century, all of them friends of the family. Early on, he says, it was soul and R&B singers like Aretha Franklin, Donny Hathaway and Brandy who captivated him and would inform his musical growth. Other artists who resonated with him were D’Angelo, Jill Scott and the unparalleled Bobby McFerrin, whose genre-defying, multi-part a cappella compositions would be a discernable influence on his work. By high school, Michael was already a prodigious vocalist. When it came time for college, a friend told him he should consider applying to the famed New England Conservatory of Music (NEC). Upon graduating from NEC, Michael went on to become only the third vocalist accepted into the prestigious Thelonious Monk Institute in its 20 year history. The appreciation for technology that Michael first developed in college, when he got his first looper pedal, was enhanced by time spent with Hancock, and it continues to play a big role in his musical expression. He moves with ease between interpreting classics with a small group or big band, to creating experimental and improvisational solo compositions that can have as many as 250 looped and layered vocal lead and choral harmony parts, such as on “Stolen Moments,” from the new album.