Beginning his musical training at the age of five, Michael Scherer quickly advanced as a classical pianist and matured into a jazz pianist and trombonist during his teen years. He recently finished recording his debut smooth jazz CD, “Exceeding Expectations,” with all of his own material. Consisting of a fresh new sound blending dynamic funk-driven melodies with soothing jazz grooves, “Exceeding Expectations” combines his previous performance experience and production skills.
Showcasing his eclectic style, the 14-track album highlights Scherer’s ability to combine different genres with his classical jazz training to produce a unique sound. What sets him apart is his approach to music: his deep understanding of a variety of musical techniques allows him to create fresh sounds with influences from other genres while respecting the fundamentals of smooth jazz music. The result is a genuinely refreshing and unique sound.
Scherer has traveled extensively throughout the United States, Europe, Central America and the Caribbean, performing his music at prestigious jazz festivals such as The North Sea Jazz Festival in The Netherlands, and The Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. His jazz trio, The Half Note Trio, was recently featured as the special guest at the Central Illinois Jazz Festival. Scherer was also invited to perform for Congressman Aaron Shock’s speaking engagement at Decatur’s Chamber of Commerce annual dinner meeting.
In addition to his musical performance career, Scherer graduated in three years from Millikin University with a degree in Commercial Music. He is the owner and CEO of DreamVizion Productions, a one-stop audio production company specializing in advertising audio for radio and television commercials, website audio and on-hold music services featuring rock, hip-hop, jazz, classical, and orchestral jingles and a variety of other genres. His diverse musical talent is further showcased by his participation in his first film scoring project. He recently finished scoring the music to the feature film, “Slap Down,” composing songs ranging from vocal infused disco and Asian fluted fight songs, to full rock anthems and scoring a full orchestra. “Slap Down” is set to debut at the Sundance Film Festival and 15 other festivals across the world.
Scherer has arranged music for many artists on major record labels including “The Christmas To Remember” (EMI) and Adrian B King’s “You’re Awesome!” (Sony BMG). He is also the Director of the Fine Arts Program through Reasonable Service in Decatur, Illinois, and teaches private piano and trombone lessons locally.
With his music experiences ranging from his jazz training in the renowned MacArthur High School Jazz program to his tour days with the Half Note Trio and even his film scoring affair, Scherer is sure to delight listeners with his unique funk-infused twist on smooth jazz. His album, “Exceeding Expectations” will give fans a taste of what to expect from him while at the same time introducing them and the world to his varied talents.
Michael Scherer - piano
Exceeding Expectations - 2009 - Smooth Jazz
The Awakening - 2006- Gospel hip-hop
Stirring in the Spirit Realm - 2004 - Inspirational Piano
Sweet Home Decatur
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What makes Michael Scherer so confident in his success? Try releasing a third album, founding a busi...What makes Michael Scherer so confident in his success? Try releasing a third album, founding a business debt-free and scoring a feature film about to debut at the renowned Sundance Film Festival. And that's just for starters.
But don't think it hasn't come without hard work and sheer determination. After graduating from Millikin University with a commercial music degree, he joined the Half Note Trio, touring for nearly a year. A grueling life, to be sure, and one that Michael says "wasn't investing in my future. I knew that would come with music and advertising audio."
So with business on his mind, Michael returned to Decatur and began working with Millikin's SCORE (Service Coprs of Retired Executives) mentoring program, designed to help entrepreneurs get off the ground. Business plan in hand, he launched DreamVizion Productions, soon earning multiple grants as well as funding from private investors.
Convinced his big break lay in advertising audio, he soon landed the big one. But rather than advertising, the film industry came calling - literally. "I got a call from a Korean film production company based in Chicago producing an independent film, an action comedy," says Michael. "They'd looked into other music houses, couldn't get what they wanted."
One day and one meeting later, Michael had a contract to write the musical score for the entire film. "It's really pushed the limits of my creativity," he says. "From Asian flute for a fight scene to full disco with vocalists to hard rock anthems and scoring a full orchestra."
Slap Down is set to deput at the Sundance Film Festival as well as 15 festivals across the world in Canada, Europe, Korea and beyond. But Michael's not stopping there. His third CD, "Exceeding Expectations," is set to release on June 27 with a debut concert at Decatur's Lincoln Theatre at 6 p.m. Calling it "smooth jazz with a funk twist," he says it's anything but typical, featuring him on both piano and trombone.
And of course, there's growing DreamVizion Productions' advertising audio business. With a team of musicians, singers and songwriters, plus him doing all the mixing and mastering in house, Michael sees success on the horizon. "We want to become a globally known entity."
For Michael, there was never any doubt about the business or Decatur. "If everybody leaves, who's going to build up the community? I'm a success story that's come from right here in Decatur."
Article written by Joli Hohenstein
First published in THRIVE, Decatur Area’s Premier Entertainment Guide
All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with Permission.
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1 hour set from Exceeding Expectations smooth jazz CD
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