Born: September 19 Primary Instrument: Trumpet
Michael Karr is a formally trained, award winning, critically acclaimed trumpet player, skilled keyboardist, composer, arranger, lyricist, engineer and producer. He has been a professional musician for over 30 years and has been featured on close to 40 records. Records of note include one of Michael’s CDs featuring the legendary Houston Person and several of Michael’s live CDs featuring Claudio Roditi. Michael is currently composing, recording and producing a Pop/R&B/Soul album in his Greenwich Village studio.
Born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA, Michael’s debut in music came at age 11, recording his first two albums as a trumpet soloist with the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony. In the 9th grade, Michael caught the eye of the great Randy Purcell (lead trombonist with Maynard Ferguson) who assisted Michael is getting a music scholarship for trumpet and piano to Carnegie Mellon University, which he began the following year. He continued his education at Duquesne and Pitt Universities, where he played under the direction of Nathan Davis and his Pitt University Jazz Assemble. After completing two Bachelor Degrees by age 19, Michael left Pittsburgh and went on the road, touring across the United States and in Europe.
Michael’s extensive performance experience includes national tours and playing with The Whispers, The O’Jays, Billy Price and the Keystone Rhythm Band, After 7, Billy Joel, The Human League, Jimmy Ponder, The Tommy Dorsey Band, Tower of Power, Modern Man, The Jets, Buddy Rich, The Gap Band, Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, The Drifters, George Benson (in the line-up at the Newport Jazz Festival), Houston Person, Roy Buchannan, Maynard Ferguson, Freddie Hubbard, Dennis Williams, B.B. King, Mary Wilson, Stanley Turrentine, Alex Blake, Arnie Lawrence, Cecil Brooks III, Dave Budway, Eddie Henderson, Dennis Irwin, Joe Harris, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Eric Lewis, Essiet O. Essiet, Grady Tate, Grover Washington Jr., James Moody, Jay and Marty Ashby, Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts, Joe Cohn, Joe Negri, John Benitez, Kirk Lightsey, Mark Murphy, Ned Gold, Randy Johnston, Rodney Jones, Ray Brown, Rhoda Scott, Roger Tucker, Roger Humphries, Ron Affif, Russell George and Victor Jones.
Michael is also a veteran session musician, signed under numerous labels, including 3C, Laurie, Antenna Records and Corona Rounder. He has worked with many production, mixing, mastering and engineers of note, including the Grammy-winning Phil Nicolo of Studio 4 Recording. In 1989 Michael hit the Top Ten on Billboard’s R&B charts as a producer with the Stanley Fields cover of “You, Me & He” (3C Records). He was the first musician to record live for WDUQ’s Tony Mowad and Chuck Leavens with whom he recorded with for several years. Michael wrote and produced music for the popular radio show Top 30 USA with Donnie Simpson with Sheridan Broadcasting Network WAMO which aired every Saturday on 169 stations and in Europe and Japan.
Michael’s Karrtet features a rotation of top musicians including Ron Affif, Victor Jones, John Benitez, Randy Johnston, Alex Blake and Essiet O. Essiet. As a band leader, Michael is listed as a Jazz Improv Magazine “Noteworthy Performance“. He has held several residencies at notable jazz venues in NYC including St. Nick’s Pub, Cleopatra’s Needle, Arturo’s, and Mannahatta. Michael has performed in almost every club from Harlem to the Village and up and down the Eastern seaboard. He has played in settings from “after-hours” clubs to stadiums, for the former Mayor of New York City, Rudy Giuliani to two Presidential Inaugural Balls.
Michael is available for professional session work, gigs, production, lessons and coaching (see contact info).
New York, NY
Willing to teach:
Advanced students only.