Michael Kollwitz has been performing on The Chapman Stick® * since 1976 and was one of inventor Emmett Chapman’s first music students. He studied with Chapman for 10 years and is considered one of the world’s top players of this new American instrument.
Michael began playing the revolutionary stringed instrument after witnessing a live performance given by Chapman at a college coffee house in the 70's. In the 80's- after years of practice and study- he began his performance career. Since that time, he has performed extensively throughout California, Nevada, Arizona and Hawaii. He has given over a thousand performances at every type of venue.
He has been an opening act for The Beach Boys, The Goo Goo Dolls and was offered full-time work as a musician at Disneyland. He has an extensive client list that includes everything from Fortune 500 companies to civic organizations. He's performed at festivals, fairs, upscale resorts, fine dining establishments, weddings and many other venues. (You can view 65+ reference letters from happy past clients at: http://www.michaelkollwitz.com/?page_id=156
Michael has also been- and continues to be- featured on numerous TV and radio stations in the Western US and nationwide, including “All Things Considered” on PBS. He’s been featured in many newspapers, magazines and other media. His music was included in the very first CD compilation of ‘Stick’ music and his photo can be found in the first edition ‘Stick’ instruction book, “Free Hands”. In May 2007, CurrentTV purchased the rights to one of his videos for national broadcast. NPR’s popular nationally broadcast show, “Morning Edition”, began featuring tracks from his recent releases in the summer of 2008- delighting listeners in hundreds of markets across the country. His DVD "Live In Concert" is aired frequently by Akaku TV on the island of Maui.
One of the most prolific Chapman Stick musical artists, Kollwitz has had twelve (12) independent releases: 9 audio CDs, a “Live In Concert” DVD (10/06) and 2 digital download albums- one of which was the world’s very first digital download album of Chapman Stick music. They are currently offered on more than 30 different premium digital music sites. "Under The Banyan Tree" (01/09) is his most recent audio CD release. Recorded 'live' under the famous banyan tree in Old Lahaina Town on Maui, it also features master flutist Lance Israel on wooden flutes from around the world. Prior to that, his CD “Hawaiian Paradise” (08/08) was created entirely on Maui with a distinct Hawaiian flair- including four tracks in duo with pedal steel guitar. “Waterfallin’” (05/06) was the first-ever CD to prominently feature the new higher-range Alto Stick® developed by Chapman in 2005. His other releases are: “Steppin’ Out” (01/00), “Moments” (03/03), “Carnival” (12/03), “Memories” (05/04), “Frosty The Stickman” (12/04) and “Here Comes Spring” (05/05). His digital download albums are “20 Greatest Hits” (10/06) and “Greatest Hits- Vol.2" (02/08).
Although he has an extensive repertoire, his music has been described as a relaxing blend of jazz and blues with a Hawaiian flair. The Stick has a very unique, pleasant tone that tends to relax listeners almost immediately. The sweet, soothing tones of the instrument are said to simply melt away the stress of the day. He resides in Lahaina on the island of Maui and performs at some of Maui’s most prestigious events and resorts.
* The Chapman Stick® is easily the most radical innovation in stringed instruments since the invention of the electric guitar. The Stick is played with both hands; simultaneously playing BOTH bass and melody parts independently- by tapping and holding strings to frets (rather than by plucking, picking or strumming). The essence of guitar, bass, keyboards and drums- all from a single instrument! In the hands of a seasoned, master player, The Chapman Stick can sound like 2 or 3 musicians at once.
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