- IF YOU COULD SEE ME NOW -
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Though only in his early twenties, MICHAEL MAYO has already earned his stripes as a jazz artist. As an up-and-coming jazz vocalist, composer, and arranger, Mayo’s voice is an elegant balance of charisma, confidence and an approachable vulnerability that draws audiences in. Whether with straight tone or vibrato, on standards or new music, Mayo’s talents can draw the jazz purist and the curious novice to the same venue.
Originally from Los Angeles, Calif., Mayo recently received his Bachelors of Music in Jazz Voice Performance from the New England Conservatory of Music (NEC). Mayo currently attends the prestigious Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance, only the third vocalist to be accepted into this elite Institute’s ensemble in its nearly 20-year history. Mayo has performed on many nationally and internationally recognized stages including at the Kennedy Center, the Panama Jazz Festival, the Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles’ famed Catalina Bar and Grill, and the Blue Whale, as well as stages in Chile, Australia, and Brazil. During his time at NEC, he studied with lauded musicians and educators Dominique Eade, Ken Schaphorst, Jerry Bergonzi, Miguel Zenón, John Lockwood, Donny McCaslin, Carmen Lundy, and Jason Moran. As part of the Monk Institute, Mayo has had the honor of working with some of jazz’s most elite, such as Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Jimmy Heath, John Pattitucci, Danilo Pérez, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Dick Oatts, Lewis Nash, Luciana Souza, and Gretchen Parlato, among others.
In 2013, Mayo was selected as one of four young jazz vocalists to participate in a Master Session with Dianne Reeves as part of the Kennedy Center’s critically acclaimed American Voices Festival. Most recently, the Festival was televised in a film, in which Mayo was briefly featured. The film aired on PBS as part of the networks Great Performances series.
Also an accomplished composer, Mayo writes original pieces of music, which in 2013 and 2014 won him acceptance into the prestigious Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Program, which has given rise to such talent as Jason Moran, Nate Smith, Reuben Rogers, and Aaron Parks. In 2011, The Boston Jazz Blog wrote that Mayo “ … had the maturity of composers twice his age. Mayo’s vocal lines, both scored and improvised, were interesting and sophisticated.”