The world's leading Jazz Violinist, Band leader,
Composer & Arranger, Michal Urbaniak is one of the founder's of Fusion in the 70's and Acid Jazz of the 90's. There are symphonic works & film music for
15 full feature soundtracks to his credit and he has recorded over 50 albums in the U.S.A. He came to the U.S. in 1973 from Europe to New York after winning the Grand Prix at Montreaux Jazz Festival for best soloist.
He is a repeated winner of Down Beat Magazine's Reader's Poll's Best Violin Player and in the top 10 as Musician of the Year, Record of the year, Composer, Arranger, Electric Group of the year and the Misc. Instruments for the Lyricon. He toured around the globe playing at most of the jazz festivals and an extensive list of clubs. He has made many television appearances worldwide including on the world famous Johnny Carson's "Tonight Show" three times. Michal Urbaniak has played and recorded with Miles Davis (Tutu), Quincy Jones (The Wiz),George Benson, Toots Thielmans, Doc Sevrinson, Ariff Mardin, Billy Cobham, Herbie Hancock, Jaco Pastorius, Roy Haynes, Elvin Jones, Michael Brecker, Randy Brecker, Sticks Hooper, John Abercrombie,Philippe Catherine, Larry Coryell, Kenny Garret, Kenny Barron, Ron Carter, Eumir Deodato,Stephane Grappelli,Oliver Nelson, Lenny White, Larry Young, John Hendricks, Joe Williams, Elvin Jones,Buster Williams, Joe Henderson, Johny Griffin, Ted Curson, Astor Piazzolla, Freddy Hubbard, Tom Browne, Steve Gadd, Anthony Jackson, Victor Bailey, Omar Hakim, Bernard Wright, Marcus Miller and many others. As a boy prodigy violinist, I played many recitals and concerts with philharmonic orchestras. I took part in competitions for adults and was awarded a scholarship to study in Moscow with the famous David Ojstrach. At the same time I fell in love with American Jazz along with it's culture and a passion for this other musical life began to emerge. One might say that after I began to play Jazz I felt as though a second musical identity came to being. Dr. Jekyll was the straight A student in music school practicing intensely everyday until the afternoon. After which Mr. Hyde would appear experimenting with the new sound of Jazz at local clubs and bars. I dreamed of a time in my life when these two musical identities of mine could be combined somehow. However, much time passed before my dream could become a reality. I made a promise to my mother that I would not take that scholarship for violin in Moscow. I put the violin aside altogether and began traveling the world as a young saxophonist. I left Poland for good knowing that playing with promising young musicians who played real American Jazz there is more to learn than anywhere in Europe, at least at that time. So I finally came to live in the New York I dreamed of for years and the victory was sweet. Eight years after I thought I had given up the violin for good I dusted it off and arduously began to teach it to play Jazz as I had done with the saxophone. As a jazz violinist I started a band in which I began connecting the music of my youth and all my experiences of jazz, rock and funk. I was never indifferent to what I heard around me and that is how Fusion came to exist. The experimentation of many musical elements and seeing how they can be used to compliment and ignite eachother was fascinating. In New York I discovered a group of incredible young musicians from Jamaica Queens whose innocence, passion, professionalism and profound precision enabled this experimentation to take place. After playing Fusion for a while my music began to evolve further into Acid Jazz; combining the melodic soul of Jazz with the then very fresh beats of Hip hop. Shortly after the release of Urbanator I felt the need to introduce my classical roots to the new sound of Hip Hop. An official meeting of both loves was due. So, on 27th of January 1995, for the first time in the history of music, a rapper preformed with a philharmonic orchestra. That day I had proved to myself that which I knew always to be true: God created music and people devided it into categories.