Michael White

Artist Biography by Thom Jurek

Michael White (who is no relation to the New Orleans clarinetist of the same name or the funk-oriented drummer) is a master violinist, educator, composer, arranger, and performer who has played with some of the best-known names in jazz, R&B, folk, and blues. He has a formidable technique that includes employing passages of double-stopping in his solos. He has incorporated into his music influences and techniques from Western, Middle, and Far Eastern classical music, as well as blues, R&B, and the jazz tradition. White was born in Houston, Texas in 1933, and raised in Oakland, California. He began his study of the violin at age nine. He first emerged on the jazz scene as part of the John Handy Quintet that was the hit of the 1965 Monterey Jazz Festival. In the Bay Area, White performed live with the John Coltrane Quartet as a guest, as well as with Eric Dolphy and Wes Montgomery. He appeared with Sonny Simmons and Prince Lasha in 1969; one of their gigs was captured on tape and released as Manhattan Egos by Arhoolie in 2000.

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