A multi-award winner in instrumental new age music, Michael started piano lessons at age 7; he also studied violin, clarinet, and guitar for a time. When the Beatles arrived in America in 1964, he "switched to drums and never looked back."
Michael earned a Bachelors Degree in Music (emphasis percussion performance) from California State University Fresno (1974). He was a radio announcer in the early '70s for what's now referred to as a Classic Rock station (Beatles, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, etc.).
He toured with Johnny Mathis in the mid '70s, and did lots of studio work as a performer, composer/arranger, producer, and engineer. Michael also played lots of musical theater productions in Fresno, California, with the Good Company Players.
Michael changed careers in 1981 and went off to graduate school, leaving music behind, and eventually becoming a psychotherapist (Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist) in 1992. He studied transpersonal psychology in the 1990s with Stanislav Grof and has been heavily influenced by the spiritual writings of the late David R Hawkins.
"I returned to my first love (music) in 2005 after—what else?—life transitions ... "after all those years and projects, working for others, I finally have the opportunity to do it all myself."
Musical influences (among many, many others): The Beatles, Jan Hammer, Vangelis, Paul Winter et al., Pat Metheny, Patrick O'Hearn, Steve Roach, J. S. Bach, Igor Stravinsky, Jimi Hendrix, Joni Mitchell, Steely Dan, The Mahavishnu Orchestra, Chick Corea, Peter Gabriel, Frank Zappa (heck, this could get ridiculously long).
Life/spiritual influences: David R Hawkins, John Diamond, Lester Levenson, Wayne Dyer, Jack Canfield, Lao-tzu, Eckhart Tolle (among others).
Michael formed Leela Music (leela means "divine play") to undertake a very simple mission: to help others in their journey toward wholeness through the gift of music, by creating works that inspire and uplift the human spirit.