Born: June 20, 1978 Primary Instrument: Bass
Michael Herring is a double-bassist, composer and arranger based in Toronto. His focus is on jazz, although he performs in a variety of genres, including folk, reggae and performance art. He has a strong sound and musical personality, and thrives in open and improvised settings.
Michael Herring's Vertigo, an original jazz sextet comprised of the strongest voices in the next generation of Canadian Jazz and New York’s David Binney on alto saxophone, has just released Coniferous Revenge, featuring eleven of Herring’s original compositions. The album has garnered critical acclaim, including being picked as one of the Top 5 Debut albums of 2006 by All About Jazz New York.
As well as leading Vertigo, he has the privilege of performing regularly with the JUNO nominated Jason Wilson and Tabarruk (reggae, with jazz influences), and in the collective God's Gift to Yoda (indie modern-jazz-rock). He has shared the stage with such great musicians as Dave Binney, Bernie Senensky, Kirk MacDonald, Stich Wynston, Nick The Brownman Ali, Norman Marshall-Villeneuve, Mike Murley and Percy Sledge. Besides playing and touring in Canada, he has toured with his own band in Korea, and with various ensembles in Europe, the United Kingdom, and the Caribbean. Michael's compositions and arrangements have been featured in the repertoires of many ensembles, including The Nick Ali Trio, the Bokker Buckle Band, and the Don Scott Quartet,
He has attended the Banff International Jazz Workshop twice (2000, 2003) where he had the opportunity to study and perform with many of the guiding members of New York's Downtown Scene including Dave Douglas, Kenny Werner, Joe Lovano, Joey Baron, Tony Malaby, Angelica Sanchez, Johannes Weidenmueller, James Genus, and Mark Turner. While living in New York City during the winter of 2004, Michael played in the Downtown Scene and studied with the bassist and composer Drew Gress, and more recently with Mark Helias.
Michael grew up in Victoria, B.C., then moved to Toronto, where he studied with Canadian Jazz greats David Young and Don Thompson at the University of Toronto’s Jazz Performance Program. He been invited to attend the Banff International Jazz Workshop twice (2000, 2003) and lived in New York (2004). He has also studied with Drew Gress, Mark Helias, Dave Douglas, Kenny Werner, Joe Lovano, Joey Baron, Tony Malaby, Angelica Sanchez, Johannes Weidenmueller, James Genus, and Mark Turner, as well as with world-renowned bassists Rufus Reid and Ray Brown.
“[a] Toronto bassplayer with a penchant for contemporary grooves, colours and energy… cutting-edge but accessible sounds inspired by New York's downtown jazz innovators” Doug Fischer - The Ottawa Citizen
“one of the most exciting and interesting [albums] to arrive this year… The ensemble passages are all rich in texture, catchy hooks relieve the aura of intellectual rigour, the boss's bass soars and swoops and the overall impact is tremendous” Geoff Chapman - Toronto Star