Michael Mayo

Masterclass on 3/19/2022

Master class with Michael Mayo, one of the most acclaimed and versatile voices on the contemporary music scene, including pop, jazz, electronic, gospel, rock and nu soul, organized by Saint Louis, in collaboration with Alcazar Live.

Saturday, March 19, 2022
h 15:00-17:00
Alcazar Live – Via Cardinal Merry del Val, 14b, Rome

Fees: €20 for Saint Louis students; €30 outside

Academic course credits: 1/2 CFA

Born and raised in Los Angeles, but an avid New Yorker for the past five years (drawn to “music, art, and energy, the motivating factor”), Michael Mayo, 28, completed work on his debut solo album Bones, under the Artistry Music/Mack Avenue Music Group label, just before COVID arrived.

The songs were recorded live with his band-keyboardist Andrew Freedman, bassist Nick Campbell and drummer Robin Baytas, with whom he has been playing since high school or college-at Figure8 Recordings in Brooklyn.

Eli Wolf, a veteran Grammy®-winning producer known for albums by Al Green, Norah Jones and The Roots, handled production. “Being from L.A., I really know how to relax, but coming to New York has really energized me,” Mayo says.

The son of top studio and touring musicians, Michael’s father, Scott Mayo, has been a saxophonist for Earth, Wind & Fire, among many others, and is currently the musical director for Sergio Mendes, while his mother Valerie Pinkston, now a backing vocalist for Diana Ross, has also sung with Beyoncé, Luther Vandross, Ray Charles, Whitney Houston and even alternative icon Morrissey.

Bones is Mayo’s first full album under his own name, having studied at the prestigious New England Conservatory of Music and the Thelonious Monk Institute-now named for Herbie Hancock, who mentored Mayo, helping him discover the link between sound and technology via a looper pedal, and showcased him as lead vocalist on a tour of South America in 2018.

“Personal transparency is important to me, not trying to please the expectations of others,” he says of his very personal and genre-defying debut. “I wanted to find the things that resonated musically with me, working with people who could bring that vision to life.

” Like Bobby McFerrin, one of his major influences (who graduated from the same L.A. performing arts school), Mayo treats his voice like a musical instrument, but in often unexpected ways-with Brian Wilson-style pop harmonies (“Robot Man”), Stevie Wonder-esque R&B (“Another Love”), drum and bass (“What’s My Name,” inspired by a phrase from the poet e.e. cummings “Crepuscule”) and even hip-hop (“About Your Love”). Even with her classical training, Mayo’s music is a harmonious fusion of alternative and neo-soul elements, a unique combination that defies genres.

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