Michael Ragonese is a Los Angeles based pianist, composer, arranger, and educator. He received his Bachelors of Music in Jazz Studies at California State University Northridge, where he led jazz combos to 1st place at the Reno and Monterey Jazz Festivals, also receiving the “Best College Performer” award at the Reno Jazz Festival. In 2017, Michael took 2nd place out of 8 piano finalists across the world in Lee Ritenour's Six String Jazz competition.
Michael has performed, recorded, and worked with jazz artists such as Bennie Maupin, Charnett Moffett, Alphonso Johnson, Sue Raney, John Daversa, Louise Cole, Darek Oles, Gary Pratt, Walter Smith III, David Binney, Bob Reynolds, Bob Sheppard, Gene Coye, Rick Braun, Dave Koz, and Engelbert Humperdinck. Look for Michael on Dave Koz's new album!
Michael has toured with Rick Braun and the Jacob Szkeley Trio, and began touring with Engelbert Humberdinck in February 2018. He currently has two projects as a band leader - the Michael Ragonese quintet and FM Project, which is co-lead with Fabian Chavez. Since graduating from CSUN in 2014, Michael has continued to develop his voice as a songwriter. His unique compositions not only portray his skill in jazz, but also his ability to connect with listeners. Michael's music is complex and epic but remains accessible to all.
These recent years of hard work will culminate in the recording of Michael's first album in June of 2018. Michael is thrilled to feature some of his favorite musicians on this album who he believes will work wonders in bringing the music to life. The album will feature long-time friend Shai Golan (saxophone), Anthony Fung (drums), Luca Alemanno (bass), and Walter Smith III (tenor saxophone) and will be available June 1, 2019.