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Michael Pignéguy

Michael Pignéguy is a gifted drummer, composer, band-leader, arranger and producer. He performs & records alongside a variety of other skilled, international musicians & vocalists as either, THE AWAKENINGS ENSEMBLE (World, Arabic, Latin & Jazz) The Michael Pignéguy Sextet (Jazz) The Michael Pignéguy Quartet (Jazz) & other extended orchestral versions of the Jazz formats

Where many artists are wary of straying too far from home, both literally and figuratively, Michael Pignéguy (pronounced Pin-ay-gee) has had the pluck to investigate all sorts of music beyond his beloved jazz roots and to base himself in somewhere as improbable and exotic as Doha, Qatar. It was in this region he based himself for over a decade (2006-2018), before recently returning to Australia.

As far as it is in kilometres it is even further in cultural terms from where he was born (Sydney, Australia), grew up (New Zealand) and studied and forged a career (Perth, Australia). Taking up the piano by the age of four and the drums at nine, he knew music would be the focus of his life from early on. His father's record collection ranged from Bach to the Beatles to Dave Brubeck. Hearing the latter's band perform live played a crucial part in piquing his desire to be a drummer.

Around the age of 11 Michael attended a jazz camp and subsequently sat in with a school band he encountered there. This was the light-switch moment for him when he discovered what an adrenaline hit performing could actually be. By the next year he was involved in youth orchestras in Auckland (New Zealand), and subsequently undertook private study with teachers who turned him on to such great jazz drummers as Roy Haynes, who is still a particular favourite. Other influences included Philly Joe Jones, Max Roach, Elvin Jones and Peter Erskine (of Steely Dan and Weather Report fame), with whom he would later study in LA. Leading New Zealand drummer and educator Frank Gibson Junior also played a pivotal role in shaping Michael's musical development in jazz.

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