Yamaha Home Page

Mike Garson

Mike Garson's Biography

Mike's solid reputation for creativity and quality has motivated many other well-known rock musicians to invite him to record on their albums. Trent Reznor - who first met Mike during David Bowie's 1996 "Outside" tour - featured Mike on several tracks of Nine Inch Nails' "The Fragile." Mike can also be heard on Seal's "Human Being" as well as a special bonus track at the end of No Doubt's "Return of Saturn" album.

Since 1982 Mike has been a member of Free Flight, a cutting-edge jazz and classical ensemble that also features renowned flutist Jim Walker - with whom Mike has also produced a number of projects. In addition to serving as the group's lead pianist, Mike has composed most of their original music. Mike and Free Flight appeared four times on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and also performed with the L.A. Philharmonic a concerto composed by Roger Kellaway for the group.

He has also recorded twelve solo albums including "Admiration," "Avant Garson," "Gershwin Fantasia," "Jazzical," "Mystery Man," "The Oxnard Sessions, Volumes I and II," "Serendipity" and "Remember Love." For the ABC television movie "Liberace," Mike played all the piano pieces in the style of the flamboyant performer. Mike's signature sound can be heard on several television shows and Yamaha Disklavier disks.

An Author and Artist
Mike has authored seven musical instruction books published by Warner Brothers and Alfred Publishing Company. He is now developing new venues through which he can express his ideas on music and composing.

In late 2000, Mike expanded his artistic realm from the piano keyboard to the computer keyboard. While touring Europe with the Smashing Pumpkins, Mike began experimenting with various art programs on his Apple PowerBook in much the same way that he composes his NOW! MUSICT. The result was an impressive - and growing - collection of creativity Mike calls NOW ARTT. He has more than 2,500 pieces in his collection to date.

A Superb Student and Tenured Teacher
In his youth, Mike studied classical composition with Leonard Eisner of Juilliard and earned degrees in Music and Education from Brooklyn College. He also studied with Bill Evans, Herbie Hancock, Hal Overton, Robert Starer and Lennie Tristano. He has played with Stanley Clarke, Elvin Jones, Lee Konitz and Freddie Hubbard.

A teacher for more than 40 years, Mike has shared his musical knowledge with students at master classes and through private instruction. Mike has appeared at many universities around the world where he has both guest lectured and performed for numerous music students and public audiences.

Currently, masters and doctorate-level music students at the University of Southern California taking a course in 20th century classical music are required to perform one of Mike's classical pieces.
He also performed and taught at the 2002 World Piano Pedagogy Conference where, to his surprise, he received a standing ovation after his first of ten pieces - a series of improvisations based on a Paganini theme. In recognition of Mike's mastery of the piano and his composing skills, he was appointed to the Board of Directors of the world-famous Beethoven Society.

A Passionate Performer
Embracing the idea of creative, spiritual and professional growth, Mike continues to explore new avenues through which he can use his multifaceted talents to provide healing, enjoyment and inspiration to people.

"If I am truly passionate about and love what I do, I believe that feeling can be transmuted to and inspire the people who receive my art," Mike believes.

In Conclusion: Looking Ahead
True to his creativity, Mike continues to compose and create more NOW ARTT pieces, which he plans to make available for purchase online. In the second half of 2003, Mike again joined David Bowie for another world tour - this time in support of the album "Reality."