The Michael Weiss Trio performs at the Mesquite Arts Center, February 12th, 2022 at 7 p.m. Admission is free. 1527 N. Galloway, Mesquite, TX (972) 216-6444. For more information visit www.mesquiteartscenter.org Accompanying Mr. Weiss will be bassist Young Heo and drummer Andrew Griffith. For this engagement, Weiss will perform an assortment of original compositions and standards followed by a brief Q&A.
Pianist, composer, arranger, educator and Dallas native, Michael Weiss began classical piano lessons at age 6 while at the same time picking out pop songs by ear. By junior high school, he was playing organ in rock bands. At fifteen Weiss attended Interlochen Music Camp, where he was exposed to jazz for the first time, hearing Duke Ellington and Stan Kenton in person. He then attended Skyline High School, enjoying 4 hours of music classes a day. [The year after Weiss graduated in 1976, Skyline’s music department was absorbed into Booker T. Washington HS]. Jazz became Weiss’ life calling, transcribing solos and songs from records and writing big band arrangements. He gained bandstand experience sitting in with Dallas jazz veterans Marchel Ivery at the Recovery Room and Paul Guerrero at the Bagatelle Lounge. Weiss continued his studies at Indiana University, with his eye towards New York City. Since arriving in New York in 1982, Weiss has forged a formidable career working in the bands of jazz legends Johnny Griffin, Art Farmer, Benny Golson, Slide Hampton, Frank Wess, Jimmy Heath and the Heath Brothers, George Coleman, Charles McPherson, Jon Hendricks, Lou Donaldson, Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Mingus Epitaph, and Junior Cook/Bill Hardman Quintet. Weiss' fifteen-year association with Griffin, yielded four recordings and annual tours in the USA and around the world. He has also performed with Joe Henderson, Woody Shaw, Clark Terry, Clifford Jordan, Gary Bartz, Phil Woods, Pepper Adams, Slide Hampton, Joe Lovano, Ron Carter, David Newman, Gerry Mulligan, Nancy Wilson, Randy Brecker, Tom Harrell, Wynton Marsalis, and other high profile jazz recording artists. As a bandleader, Weiss has headlined at every major jazz venue, including the Village Vanguard, Detroit Jazz Festival, Blue Note, Jazz Standard, Birdland, Bradley’s, Iridium, Sweet Basil, and Smoke. He has also headlined at the Detroit Jazz Festival, Smithsonian Institution, and George Wein’s Kool Jazz Festival in New York. Reviewing his Vanguard debut, the New York Times wrote that Weiss "demonstrated a strong sense of leadership and organization" exhibiting "sensitivity and logic, along with crisp control." Television appearances include CBS-TV’s Nightwatch and PBS’ Live From Lincoln Center: The City of Jazz. NPR radio appearances include PianoJazz with Marion McPartland, Making the Music with Wynton Marsalis, Jazzset, and the Jazz Piano Christmas Special. Weiss was a 1989 prizewinner in the Thelonious Monk Institute's International Piano Competition. As a composer, Weiss is a two-time Doris Duke/Chamber Music America New Works grant recipient and was the grand prize winner of the 2000 BMI/Thelonious Monk Institute’s Composition Competition presented to him by Wayne Shorter. In 2022 Weiss celebrates the release of his fifth recording as a leader, Persistence (Cellar Live). His previous recordings are on the CrissCross, SteepleChase, DIW, and Sintra labels have been hailed by the critics. His 1987 debut, Presenting Michael Weiss was Stereo Review's Best of the Month. "Soul Journey" features a collection of nine original compositions for septet: "Weiss' shrewd writing and arranging skills are as clearly in view as his sleek piano work" – The New Yorker "Weiss has a rich palette of composing devices at his command" – Downbeat "Warmth, integrity and above all, originality" – JazzTimes “the songs simply smoke” – Detroit Free Press "Weiss is a vital talent with something important to say" – All About Jazz "Weiss’ compositions take on different shapes, great complexity and fresh perspectives" — Washington Post “About as close to perfection as a recording can get...If there is truly justice in our world, this should be a Grammy nominee.” – Jazz Improv “This music lives and breathes freshness and exhilarating originality. The individual selections are strong and attractive enough, to still be played as jazz vehicles in 10, 20, or even 50 years’ time.” – Jazz Journal “a masterwork. Soul Journey is terrific. The work is majestic, brash, and dynamic throughout.” – Jazzwax.com Live Performances and Notices “Weiss is a nimble and inventive keyboard artist who couldn’t play an inelegant note if he wanted to.” – Chicago Tribune “Weiss can focus the intensity in a tune as well as any pianist in mainstream jazz.” – New York Times “One of the most fluent and flexible pianists of his generation.” – BMI Music World “Combines the wonder of spontaneity with a workmanlike acknowledgment of his materials: art and craft in delightful balance.” – Chicago Reader