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Michael Gibbs

it was jazz or chemistry - failed chemistry, its jazz!

About Me

Mike Gibbs - composer, arranger and trombonist has worked with many music luminaries, including Pat Metheny, John McLaughlin, John Scofield, Narada Michael Walden, Michael Mantler, Gary Burton, Whitney Houston, Peter Gabriel, Bill Frisell. Born in Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia (now Harare, Zimbabwe), he grew up playing trombone and piano and was awarded scholarships to attend Lenox School of Jazz and Tanglewood Summer School, where he studied with Gunther Schuller, George Russell, J.J.Johnson, Lukas Foss, and Iannis Xenakis. Having graduated from Berklee College of Music with diploma in Arranging and Composition in 1962, he moved to the U.K. played trombone for Tubby Hayes, Graham Collier, John Dankworth and Cleo Laine, and by the 1970's was generally recognised as one of the leading young composer-arrangers in jazz. His albums, including Michael Gibbs and In The Public Interest, won him numerous awards and after nine years as composer-in-residence at Berklee, during which time he orchestrated Joni Mitchell's Don Juan's Reckless Daughter album among many others, he returned to the U.K. in 1985. He has since written extensively for films and television and worked with the NDR, WDR and HR bands in Germany. In 2004 he received an Honorary Fellowship from Birmingham Conservatoire.

My Jazz Story

Years ago now--in Rhodesia--listening to Voice of America with Willis Conover I heard Bunk Johnson play "When The Saints Go Marching In," and Billie Holiday sing "Don't Explain." I knew then there was no other life for me than jazz.

My Favorites

  1. GilEvans.
  2. MilesDavis.
  3. Wayne Shorter.
  4. Charles Ives.
  5. Olivier Messiaen.