Michael Fair's partnership with the trumpet began early in his life. At the age of 12 he was given his first horn. It was no time at all until he began playing the songs that he heard his parents listening to by Herb Albert and the Tijuana Brass. Michael's early performances included solo features in school bands and church services. He studied trumpet performance at Middle Tennessee State University and Graduated in 1979 with a Bachelors Of Music. Early post college gigs included the typical frat band circuit, club gigs and casuals. Michael moved to Southern California in 1985 and actually didn't touch the trumpet or flugelhorn for two years while pursuing other interests. A move back to Nashville in 1987 seemed as natural as picking the horn back up and joining up with a new band, The Cliff Notes, at the time . Working with this group gave Michael exposure to the Nashville music community, opening up opportunities for both live and session work.
"It seemed to be an oddity to be a musician and to actually have grown up in Nashville. The first question anyone would ask me is where are you from. When I would tell them I was actually from here the response was always the same. No one who plays music is actually from here! As a result of that reaction, I've always felt as though that helped to make me somewhat unique."
- Michael. Fair
Michael has been fortunate enough to share the stage on shows with such legends as Michael McDonald, Christopher Cross, Larry Carlton, Olivia Newton-John, Leon Russell, John Hyatt, Sam Moore, Carman, Claude McKnight, Amy Grant, and Jim Horn just to name a few.
Michael continued to develop his unique warm smooth flugelhorn sound throughout the next few years. Many of the musicians he has worked with over the years say that they can recognize Michael's sound anywhere. The combination of his sound and sensitive phrasing make him a natural to perform smooth jazz in a way that invites you to listen and be totally enveloped equally by the melody and the warm sound which one can experience in the new release by Michael and Brandon Barnes Love Me Like That.
Michael met Brandon Barnes in 1995 while Brandon was in Nashville working with Claude McKnight from Take 6. Brandon was a fan of the flugelhorn and loved Michael's sound when he heard him playing at a Nashville club. The two "hit it off" and talked about doing a smooth jazz horn project for years. Finally schedules lined up and in the summer of 2001 Michael and Brandon wrote and recorded the songs for Michael's debut album, Love Me Like That.
" It was easy and natural to do these tunes with Brandon. We really like one another and respect each other's talents and as a result the songs seemed to just flow and write themselves. I feel very lucky to get to work with someone as accomplished and successful as Brandon. "
- Michael. Fair
Brandon Barnes is a multi Grammy nominated writer. He has co-written some of Brian McKnight's biggest hits including The Way Love Goes, Goodbye My Love, One Last Cry, Never Felt This Way, Last Dance, 6 8 12, What's It Gonna Be, and Still just to name a few. If Brandon's past successes are any indication, Love Me Like That should be a real success.
Michael is now playing out live and including the songs from his new C.D. in his shows. He and Brandon plan to write and record a second project in the summer of 2002. It should be fun to hear what the two of them come up with for the second record. Stay tuned!