Presents . . .

Bruce Michaels

 

 

 

  Bruce Michaels is the consummate performer.  At home on several instruments, he's played piano at fine, iconic High Point (NC) restaurants (currently at Hampton's in the J. H. Adams Inn)   as well as Restaurant J Basul Noble, and the late, lamented M. Stephens.  And, he's the stadium organist for the Durham Bulls. Ta-ta-ta tump-ta-taa!

  He sings. He plays a number of instruments. He acts. He's been a radio DJ and TV news director, sportscaster and morning show host.

 

 

 

 

Since 2001, Bruce Michaels has been the Stadium Organist for "America's favorite minor league baseball team," The Durham Bulls. Most baseball parks use recorded music. But the Bulls go one better: not only is Bruce there, he's out with the crowd, in the box seats! ("It can be interesting when it rains," he grins.) With the gate's opening, he begins an eclectic mixture of "happy songs" evocative of fun times at the ballpark.

  And he'll be mindful of the day, or even the season: Sam Cook's Another Saturday Night gets played most Saturdays; Cruising Down the River (On a Sunday Afternoon) is often heard before Sunday games and he waits until Memorial Day to play Those Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer. For Memorial Day weekend itself, Bruce has a special medley, the themes of all branches of America's Armed Forces.

 

Photo by Bob Leverone, The Sporting News

Of course once the game begins, he exhorts the crowd with Charge, Here We Go! and the like.

 

 

 

 

The Rat Pack

 

 

  Bruce also performs a one-man show, Dinner With the Rat Pack, in which he "performs the songs of Frank, Dean & Sammy - and even a few songs of their contemporaries - but it's not an impersonation, but instead a return to the format of the great supper clubs."

  He adds that ". . . those songs were incredibly well-thought out, both musically and lyrically. The song writers of the era were giants, absolute giants! The Gershwins, Cole Porter, Sammy Cahn, Johnny Mercer, Hoagy Carmichael, Harold Arlen . . . the list goes on and on. And it's clear that today - witness the enormous popularity of Harry Connick, Jr. and Michael Buble - a great number of folks love that style of music, whether they remember it first-hand or are newly discovering it. 

 

 

 

 

"So what we've done is offer a chance to again have that experience. Connick, Buble, they're sensational;  but they aren't in this area all that often. So when we do our show, well, it's always been enormously well received." 

Watch Video

Excerpts "Dinner With the Rat Pack"

 

 

 

 

 Bruce then explains how competition has propelled the Rat Pack show into new places:

 

 

 

 

 

The Summer Wind
at the ballpark

  "The competition for discretionary income is intense, which is why baseball, basketball, racetracks and other venues now offer more than just the sporting event itself. They offer contests, magic shows and entertainers between quarters, between halves, between innings. Obviously, we can't do an entire 80 minute show; but we can do a few songs, or for baseball, one song between innings. For baseball, the songs have to be short, and most of the standards the pack sang often were; we customize the arrangements as necessary. Out there, performing at ballparks and arenas are a lot of ‘costumed’ acts and mascots, but what we do, singing (those songs) . . . live . . . well, it's different, possibly even unique."

 

 

 

 

Song Writing

 

 

 

 

  Bruce also writes songs: commercial jingles, and both serious and popular music, the latter in many diverse styles. Some of his originals are featured in the collections below, as are many well-known standards. The albums’ arrangements were all Michaels’; on occasion he arranges music for hire.

  In the Black Tie Optional collection, smooth piano is featured in Crazy and As Time Goes By, while 'N 343 and Over the Rainbow display Michaels in a traditional jazz piano mode. And once selected as the theme to a (never made) motion picture, one immediately can imagine An Afternoon’s Thoughts in cinema.

  Folk music's heyday is represented with Oklahoma Mo(u)rning, while Amazing Grace - in a non-traditional way, to be sure - in a word . . . cooks! And Bruce's vocal talents are perhaps best displayed in his own Given Half A Chance.

  Sealed With A Kiss features songs enjoyed by sweethearts everywhere. Standards include Fools Rush In, and Someone to Watch Over Me; from film, are Somewhere In Time and Wind Beneath My Wings. And there are two others of his own: A Lover's Prayer and When You Look At Me. A Lover’s Prayer, in the album, is performed by Bruce. In its latest incarnation, it’s performed by Mary Lyon. To hear Mary’s version and see the music video click here: A Lover’s Prayer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Photo by Tim Talley

Black Tie Optional 
available on CD or cassette

  An eclectic mix of jazz, pop, standards, folk, and jazz rock, the title aptly describes the moods . . . a night of fine dining one moment, a smoky jazz club another, a summer orchestra pops concert at yet another, or even a folk songfest on the lawn. In other words, break out the formal wear if you're so inclined . . . but on the other hand, it is optional;  jeans or sweats work just fine, too.

 

 

 

 

 

Crazy, Oklahoma Mo(u)rning (instrumental version),  Over the Rainbow,  An Afternoon's Thoughts, As Time Goes By/Try a Little Tenderness (medley), Jessica, 'N 343, Oklahoma Mo(u)rning (vocal version), aMAZing grace! 

 

 

 

 

 

 Sealed With A Kiss 
available on CD or cassette

  A collection for lovers, all songs are arranged by Bruce Michaels, and feature his piano stylings, sometimes with vocals. Backed by the sounds of either a quartet or a full big-band, often in a light jazz style, but at times rich with strings, the songs are perfect for romantic listening by the fireplace . . . perhaps with a loaf of bread and a jug of wine? Two of Michaels' originals are included, but the rest will be known by all. It is dedicated to all who have been, hope to be, or are . . . in love.

Click to listen to a sample:

Wind Beneath My Wings - When You Look At Me

 

 

 

 

 

Someone to Watch Over Me, Wind Beneath My Wings, A Lover's Prayer, Close to You, When You Look At Me,

Last Date, Fools Rush In,  Somewhere In Time,  I Only Have Eyes For You, Vincent/Killing Me Softly (medley)

 

 

 

 

Bruce Michaels is Represented by:

 

 

 

 

tuesdayschild@triad.rr.com or call 336 883 7260

 

 

 

 

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