Michael Jude Ward-Bergeman is a passionate performer, songwriter and composer. His sensitive and creative approach to music making has led to performances and collaborations with world-class musicians and composers from across a wide range of genres.
In 2011 he launched his GIG 365 project, which saw him performing at least one gig for every day of 2011. Performances took place at an incredibly diverse range of venues in over thirty-five states and nine countries. Highlights included performances at Gainesville Correctional Facility, Harvard Business School with Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital with Linda Ann Warren, Forta 11 with Ken Babbs and the Merry Pranksters, Saint Ethelburga's Centre for Reconciliation and Peace, Occupy Wall Street, Henry Miller Memorial Library, Edinburgh Fringe Festival with Daniel Cainer, Nebraska State Capital Building, Oregon Country Fair, Naples Botanical Garden, Floyd Country Store, Raymond’s Barber Shop, Square and Compass Pub with Groanbox, Kennedy Krieger Institute, Danish Radio Concert Hall with Alisa Weilerstein, and on the streets of New Orleans.
Ward-Bergeman aims to remain faithful to the spirit that unites many of the world’s richest music traditions while continuing to develop his own unique voice. On the accordion, he has created innovative performance techniques that work in harmony with his inspired use of 21st century music technology. His vision has reached its culmination in the hyper-accordion, an acoustic accordion with extended range and expressive capabilities.
Ward-Bergeman has enjoyed a close friendship and working relationship with composer Osvaldo Golijov over the past decade. His work with the hyper-accordion has been featured in many of Golijov’s compositions, including the Grammy nominated Ayre written for soprano Dawn Upshaw, Tekyah written for BBC 2’s Holocaust - A Music Memorial Film from Auschwitz, Azul, a cello concerto written for Yo-Yo Ma, and on the soundtracks to Francis Ford Coppola’s Youth Without Youth and Tetro, released in 2009.
Ward-Bergeman’s electro-acoustic compositions have won international awards and he has premiered new works written for vocalists Dawn Upshaw and Christina Courtin at Carnegie Hall. In 2011 he was commissioned to compose for Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Project. He began his work with the group as a guest artist during workshops and performances at Harvard University. Ward-Bergeman is a founding member of the North American Roots music trio Groanbox. They have released five recordings and continue to tour extensively throughout the UK to much critical acclaim.
He is a graduate of Berklee College of Music.