Born: April 9, 1956 Primary Instrument: Guitar, 8-string
You're onto something there, you're a real innovator Les Paul, The Iridium, 4/14/2008
Michael Coppola began playing guitar at the age of eleven. His musical foundation, which began with instruction from guitarist Ritchie Lengel, was later developed through the combination of classical fingerstyle studies and lessons with jazz artist Sal Salvador. He pursued his education at the Boston Conservatory of Music; in Austria, at Die Hochschule Fuer Music, where he studied serial and atonal composition with Guenther Kahowitz, and later in Manhattan with jazz master Walter Bishop Jr.
In 1980 Michael won 1st place in the Ovation Guitar Company's national competition. He released his Jet Blue recording in 1987. The album, which received international attention, is a collection of jazz standards and originals all played on unaccompanied nylon string guitar.
Playing in a trio with master pianist John Mehegan inspired Coppola to overstep the technical boundaries of the guitar. In an attempt to achieve those same tightly-voiced chords and pedaled legato phrases used by contemporary jazz keyboardists, he created the concept of the 8 string guitar. This original design, which Coppola commissioned from luthier James DeCava, requires inner, rather than extra bass or treble side strings. In 1997 Michael recorded Virtuoso Too on his new instrument.
In 2000 Michael Coppola expanded his own idea to incorporate a 9th string. This guitar, also built by luthier James DeCava, is known in jazz guitar circles as The Hydra. On this instrument, Michael has recorded 7 more albums. Reviews of Coppola's work are filled with descriptions like unique, different, mindboggling, magical, inventive etc.
Michael Coppola's album Return Of The Hydra was chosen as a top ten pick for the year 2002 in Coda Magazine. His original composition Movin ( released on the New Impressions album) was a runner up in the 2002 John Lennon Song Competition. Reviews and articles about his work have appeared in numerous magazines including Guitar Player, Just Jazz Guitar, 20th Century Guitar, Fingerstyle Guitar, etc.
In July of 2004, Michael attended the CAAS festival in Nashville , TN, and began incorporating the music styles of Chet Atkins, Jerry Reed, Albert Lee and others into his own unique style (Monster Guitar). Since then, he has returned as a performer in 05, 06, 07 and 09, 10, 11 and 12
Michael performs at national guitar shows, Namm, festivals and concerts as well as smaller venues in New England. He is also on the New England Commission For The Arts Touring Roster. Recently, Michael has performed at the Montreal Jazz Festival (2011) and the Blue Note in NYC (2012 with Rhonda Thomas).
Awards:Ovation National Guitar competition 1981 1st place John Lennon songwriting (Movin) runner up jazz division 2002 Coda Top Ten (cds) of 2002 (return of the hydra)
VOICINGS IN MY HEAD (CD) George Van Eps taken to a new galaxy cadence jan,feb,mar 2012 Michael's playing is remarkable, with interesting runs and deep harmonies. Voicings in my head presents beautiful arrangements with wonderful re-harmonizations of 16 classic tunes. Bravo! Eric Elias Just Jazz Guitar