Michael Kollwitz- Chapman Stick Soloist
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Michael Kollwitz- Chapman Stick Soloist

Rancho Mirage, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 1976 | SELF

Rancho Mirage, California, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 1976
Solo Jazz Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Music on a Stick?"

Imagine an instrument that gives you access to virtually limitless possibilities for musical expression. Imagine it combines your favorite elements of guitar, bass, keyboards and drums- all in one. Imagine it’s electric- wired for stereo output so you can use any combination of effects, amplifiers, even a guitar synthesizer or absolutely none at all. Well, there’s no need to imagine it- it already exists today and is celebrating its 40th birthday this year.

Known as The Chapman Stick®, it was invented right here in Southern California by visionary musician Emmett Chapman in 1974. The still relatively little-known stringed instrument, sometimes simply called “The Stick”, is one of only three instruments ever invented in the United States and has been displayed in both The Smithsonian Institute in D.C. and the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix. So far, approximately 7000 of these instruments have been made by Chapman in his Woodland Hills, CA home and they have been shipped to players worldwide.

Chapman wanted to play complex harmonies like a jazz pianist does but with the expressive dynamics of a rock guitarist- all at the same time! To do so, he developed a revolutionary two-handed tapping technique on modified guitars in the late 60’s but was not satisfied with how they performed. As a result, he pioneered a radical new stringed instrument specifically designed to accommodate his new playing technique. Thus, “The Stick” was born. Played with both hands at the same time- more like a piano than a guitar, The Stick enables musicians to create multi-part arrangements with both hands simultaneously. Herbie Hancock meets Jimi Hendrix- all on one instrument!

The Stick has a pleasant, distinctive tone all it’s own and can be used in almost any type of music imaginable. In the early 80’s it was used mostly as a bass instrument by progressive rock artists like Peter Gabriel, Pink Floyd and King Crimson but was never truly introduced in a meaningful way to the general public. However, since then, independent artists and players around the world have mastered classical, jazz, rock and many other styles using The Stick. The versatile instrument is optimized specifically for a two-handed pianistic playing technique which makes for a powerful musical combination.

Available with either 10 or 12 strings, The Stick is played by lightly tapping the strings to the frets- causing just enough vibration and sound energy to be heard by a sensitive pickup. The sound is then sent in stereo to one or more amplifiers. Half of the strings are called melody strings (in the guitar range) and are usually played using the right hand. The other half of the strings are in the bass range and normally played using the left hand. The instrument’s classic tuning of fourths in the melody and fifths in the bass allows for a mirror-like relationship between both hands. Transposing scales or chords can be much easier than on guitar because of the perfect intervals- allowing the player to make big poly chords using both hands, much like a keyboardist does. To make it sound even more dramatic: add the expressive qualities of a stringed instrument- like vibratos, bends, slides and percussive tapping.

Although The Stick is an electric instrument, the player is treated to the same intimacy and feel that a classical guitarist enjoys, while at the same time has the chordal and melodic capabilities a pianist uses. Fingers directly engaging the strings, using both hands, allows the freedom to create never before heard compositions while adding expression over a range that covers almost 6 octaves. A pretty full musical palette for an instrument that weighs less than some electric guitars.

Back in 1976, I had the good fortune to meet inventor Emmett Chapman at UC Riverside at a concert he gave at The Barn coffeehouse. Out back after the show, he let me try his unusual new instrument and I was immediately hooked! Shortly thereafter, I purchased one of his earliest instruments and took lessons with him off and on for over ten years. Since then, The Stick has been an enduring, lifelong passion and I’ve been fortunate to have introduced many people to the instrument at countless venues over the years. I’ve recently relocated to the Coachella Valley and I hope to continue spreading the music and knowledge of this amazing example of American ingenuity.

Michael Kollwitz is a Chapman Stick musical artist based in Rancho Mirage.
He can be reached at www.MichaelKollwitz.com or (775) 220-9866. - Coachella Valley Weekly- July 10, 2014

"CD Review- "The Chapman Stick meets The Beatles""

Artist: Michael Kollwitz
Album: The Chapman Stick Meets The Beatles
Review by Vinny “Bond” Marini

What is this Chapman Stick instrument that plays ALL of the music on this album?

It is a newer development in the string instrument world, invented in the 1970’s. Tapped with both hands (more like a piano than a guitar), it has components of bass, guitar, keyboards and drums. It is capable of simultaneous multi-part arrangements. Pictures of this instrument can be found at http://www.chapmanstick.com.

Michael Kollwitz was one of the inventor’s (Emmett Chapman) students and he has taken his skills with this instrument and produced an album of songs that will be recognizable to most. The album contains 16 of the Beatles biggest hits, played unlike you have ever heard.

Opening with “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” you are immediately struck by the richness of this instrument. The lead lines sound, on this cut, very much like a harpsichord. As described above, there is more than one sound generated by the stick and as the lead line is played, there is also a rhythm line/second lead and the bass lines being played.

“In My Life,” seems to be made for the stick. The ‘guitar’ part is almost spot on to the original as he layers in the rhythm and the vocal part to create a truly wonderful cover of this great song.

On some songs, it sounds as if Kollwitz has 4 or 5 hands. On “A Hard Day’s Night” there is so much going on; a lead guitar line, a rhythm guitar line, bass, drums and the vocal areas. It is an explosion of sounds all coming together to give you a real pleasant sound.

“Can’t Buy Me Love” will also please any Beatles fan. Kollwitz covers the vocals and harmonies at the same time as he plays a deep bass run. The tempo is slightly slower than the original, but the song still is fun. He even adds a little ‘country’ flavor to the song, giving it an even different sound. Then he breaks into a lead solo and makes notes that sound like a keyboard.

Most of the songs clock in like the originals at less than 3 minutes with two exceptions, “Hey Jude” and While My Guitar Gently Weeps.”

The version of “Hey Jude” is nice, but it does not contain the same richness as other songs on the album. On the other hand, the George Harrison song, “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” is a standout on this album. Of course it helps that the original is one of the greatest songs ever written.

Kollwitz does an extremely good job of capturing the sounds Harrison conceived. The song swells and retreats as needed and the backing rhythm sounds are spot on. At one point he makes the stick sound exactly like an electric guitar during a solo. If this stick can do that…WOW.

Kollwitz’s interpretation of all the songs on the album is true to the original sounds desired by the Beatles, but with a new take that is unlike anything you have ever heard.

Is the Chapman Stick the next huge instrument? Will bands be adding it to their arrangements? Probably not, but would the Beatles (and Harrison specifically) added this instrument? The feeling here is they/he would. Harrison immersed himself in the sitar and the stick would have intrigued him and caused him to learn it.

If you are a Beatles fan, you will want to check this album out, knowing beforehand that these are different from the originals, but they are certainly worthy of a listen.

Review by Vinny “Bond” Marini
Rating: 4 stars (out of 5) - Vinny 'Bond' Marini

"CD Review- "Frosty The Stickman""

Although I have listened to well over 1,000 holiday CDs over the years, I can honestly report that "Frosty The Stickman" is absolutely unique. This is my first (and only!) instrumental Christmas album played on The Chapman Stick...,[which] is a fascinating stringed instrument that is played with both hands by tapping the frets--almost like a blended guitar/piano. When played, it lacks the traditional strumming associated with guitars; instead, the melody floats on a "keyboard" with a bass line beneath. The overall effect is unusual--and pleasing--and this recording gives the impression of several instruments playing together. Artist Michael Kollwitz swears, however, that "[a]ll songs [were] recorded live in-studio to digital format without use of edits or overdubs"--amazing! "Frosty The Stickman" is a cheery group of 15 holiday gems, all familiar and fun. The tone ranges from the sweetly upbeat ("Frosty The Snowman") to the gently contemplative ("We Three Kings of Orient Are"), and the arrangements are relatively straight-ahead, with a few creative curves adding excitement to the ride. The best tracks include "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear," with its jazzy interludes, and a slyly spirited "Sleigh Ride." This music would provide the perfect backdrop for your holiday social gathering or gift-wrapping fest. If you're looking for a broad range of lovely holiday instrumentals, get on the stick--The Chapman Stick--with Michael Kollwitz. - Carol Swanson for Christmas Reviews at http://www.christmasreviews.com/

"CD Review- "Waterfallin'""

It used to be, that if you wanted to show someone what a Stick sounded like, all you had to do was put on one of Michael Kollwitz’s CDs. There is no finer example than Michael’s of the left hand-chord, right hand-melody Stick technique. Now, you can play his latest release, Waterfallin’, for anyone who asks what the new Alto Stick sounds like. Waterfallin’ is the first full-length recording to feature the Alto Stick, and it’s fitting that Michael is the first artist to bring the Alto to the fore. You see, he has been there, playing Stick, since just about the beginning. He started in 1976, and was one of Emmett’s first students. His updated Website www.michaelkollwitz.com is like a trip through Stick history. Check out some of the photos in particular.

Those of you familiar with Michael’s previous releases will recognize left hand arpeggios and the clear, clean Grand Stick with MIDI sweeteners on the melody side. That’s present on Waterfallin’ too, but on top of that, Michael has added the crisp, bright Alto. The Alto cuts through the mix and adds any upper register shimmer to eleven of the disc’s fifteen tracks.

The Grand with MIDI and the Alto Stick are perfect compliments to each other. On the first tune, appropriately titled ˜Waterfallin’ a cascade of notes fall from the Alto over a bed of Grand chords, arpeggios and subtle counter melodies. My personal favourite is Michael’s version of Sting’s “Fragile”. Here the range of the Alto seems to match Sting’s tenor seamlessly. Michael also covers, “California Dreamin”, “Nights in White Satin” “C’est La Vie” “Summertime” and “Baby Elephant Walk”. The other nine tunes are originals. All stay true to his sonic formula: lay down a solid foundation, then sweeten it with a strong melody on top.

It’s hard to find any faults with this disc. I’ve written before, how Michael’s music is a wonderful to just put on, sit back and relax too. My favourite thing to do with his music is to put on headphones and use it as live soundtrack while I go walking. He always manages to stimulate and sooth simultaneously.

Waterfallin’ is an important addition to any Stick library. Not only because it marks the introduction of the Alto Stick, but also because it makes a fine musical statement that rises above both the Grand and Alto instruments. - Jim Reilly for StickNews at http://www.stick.com

"The Stick: The Best Musical Instrument You've Never Heard Of"

Cover story article and photos no longer available at MauiTime.com website but you can read it and lots of other press articles and stories at:

http://michaelkollwitz.com/about/articles/ - Maui Time Weekly cover story 09/27/07


With 25 years experience in providing unique, tasteful music on the Chapman Stick for upscale corporate, public and private events, I've performed for countless satisfied clients at countless venues- some year after year. Here's a list of the ones I can remember (!)...

Ritz Carlton Kapalua Maui
The Grand Wailea Maui
Four Seasons Manaele Bay Lanai
Sheraton Waikiki Oahu
Four Seasons Wailea Maui
Fairmont Kea Lani Maui
Hotel Wailea Maui
Hyatt Regency Maui
Indian Wells Art Festival
Desert Arts Festival Palm Springs
Marriott Ocean Club Maui
The Plantation Olowalu Maui 
Westin Kaanapali Maui
Maui Ocean Center
The Shops At Wailea Maui
Whalers Village Kaanapali Maui
Kaunoa Senior Center Maui
King Kamehameha Golf Club Maui
Napili Kai Resort Maui
Merriman's Kapalua Maui
Gannon's Wailea Maui
LahainaTown Action Committee Maui 
Maui Rotary: Lahaina, Kaanapali, Wailuku
First Fridays Wailuku Maui
Second Fridays Lahaina Maui
Westin Kaanapali Ocean Villas
Hyatt Regency Sacramento Capitol
Mountain Mandarin Festival
California Strawberry Festival
Lake Tahoe Festival of Fine Art
Lahaina Arts Society Banyan Tree Art Fairs
Nevada Museum of Art Reno
Silver Legacy Casino Reno
The Sutter Club Sacramento
Jazz Jubilee Sacramento
Stockton Asparagus Festival
Health & Harmony Festival Santa Rosa
Hot August Nights Reno
Street Vibrations Reno
Fillmore Jazz Festival San Francisco
Sacramento Art & Wine Festival
Fremont Art & Wine Festival
Best of the West Rib Cook Off Reno
Reno Tahoe Wine & Food Festival
Milpitas Art & Wine Festival
California Grape & Gourmet CalExpo
Pleasant Hill Art & Wine Festival
Arizona State University at Tempe
Sonoma State University Santa Rosa
California State University San Bernardino
Solano County Fair Vallejo
California State Fair Sacramento
Placer County Strawberry Festival
Yolo County Fair Woodland
The Phoenician Resort Scottsdale
Hilton at Tapatio Cliffs Phoenix
Downtown Association Napa
Hilton at South Mountain Phoenix
Biltmore Resort Phoenix
Scottsdale Princess Resort
Blockbuster Desert Sky Pavillion
Scottsdale Plaza Resort
Jazz in AZ Inc.
The Citadel at Pinnacle Peak
Camelback Inn Phoenix
Tempe Festival of the Arts
Remington's Scottsdale
Patriot Park Phoenix
Mill Street Merchants Association Tempe
Hilton Amphitheater Reno
El Dorado Hills Art & Wine Affaire
Marriott Timber Lodge Lake Tahoe
Horizon Casino Lake Tahoe
Tahoe Ridge Winery
Marilyn's Scottsdale
City of Mesa AZ
City of Glendale AZ
City of Riverside CA
City of Chandler AZ
City of Scottsdale AZ
City of Phoenix AZ
The Harvest Festivals- Del Mar, Anaheim, Sacramento, San Jose, Pleasanton, Ventura
Borders Books & Music- Phoenix, Glendale, Roseville, Davis, Sacramento, Elk Grove

Envisions Entertainment Kihei Maui
Kika Entertainment Inc. Honolulu Oahu
Corporate Destination Services of Arizona
DeSilva Meeting Consultants Haiku Maui
Leep Entertainment Reno
Absurd Entertainment Sacramento
Whalen & Associates Maui
SRO Entertainment Phoenix
Image Entertainment Phoenix
Merestone Productions Scottsdale
Encore Entertainment Phoenix
TEC Productions San Jose
Paul Arena Productions Scottsdale
Aces Entertainment Phoenix
Bill Graham Presents

Federal Express
General Motors
Lockheed Martin
T Mobile
Yum Corp.
Canadian Life
The Warner Group

Opening Act for:
The Beach Boys
The Goo Goo Dolls
Henry Kapono
Peppino D'Agostino - PERFORMED AT...


"You have a gift from the heart and your music made me feel good the moment I heard it" - Carlos Santana, Lahaina, HI 5/22/11

“You're awesome on that Stick!” - Herbie Hancock, Phoenix, AZ 5/24/93

"Michael Kollwitz is one of the most experienced and most active Stick players in the world today. This year alone he has played over 100 concerts and released a new CD, a new live concert DVD and a downloadable "Greatest Hits" collection". - Featured Artist article quote on www.Stick.com, 11/01/06

"Michael is one of the finest Chapman Stick players in the world and his passion for his craft is undeniable. Whenever he plays, heads turn for both the uniqueness of his instrument as well as for the beauty and technical ability of his playing. If your event calls for quality entertainment that is fun to listen to, different and memorable, then he's your man." - Josh DeSilva, President, DeSilva Meeting Consultants Inc., Haiku, HI 2/5/13

"I have had the opportunity to work with Michael on many occasions, specifically for a couple of my top clients. Michael's talent, of course, speaks for itself. People are always impressed and curious about The Stick and Michael plays it with such proficiency. I've yet to have Michael perform and not have the client ask for him back! His talent coupled with his professionalism makes him such a great person to work with." - Mary Ellen Duell, Event Manager, TEC Productions, San Jose, CA 2/27/07

"Michael Kollwitz is what I would consider a master of the Chapman Sick. He wouldn't say so, but I think he meets most of the qualifications that average people would come up with to meet that definition. He's been playing it almost since it was invented." - Roy Plisko, Filmmaker, Zebra Motion Arts, Phoenix, AZ 8/9/07

"Welcome to the Coachella Valley! Thrilled to have a musician of your calibre in our area." - Jason Harmon, Event Manager, Epic Entertainment, Palm Desert, CA 12/13/13

"Michael Kollwitz is a true pioneer! He has studied with Emmett Chapman himself and is hands down one of the most prolific Chapman Stick artists in the world. Michael appears in Emmett Chapman's "Free Hands" publication and was an early adoptor of the Stick - lucky (if) you get time with him- he is a thing of Stick legend!" Gene Perry, Founder, Free Hands Academy, Bel Air, CA 8/25/14

"Thanks for sharing your musical talent with us at the Plein Air Champagne Brunch. I feel honored that you played for us. You were the perfect person for the event and I appreciate your support of the arts in Idyllwild!" - Shanna Robb, Art Alliance of Idyllwild, Idyllwild, CA 6/10/14

"I have known Michael Kollwitz since December 1976 when he bought one of my very first instruments and became one of my first music students. Since then Mike has been taking lessons from me periodically, and I have watched him steadily improve and develop a solid basis of music technique and theory on which to perform. Mike was a pioneer when he first recognized the musical potential of The Stick, and his music is growing in originality all the time. Mike is a sincere and dedicated musician, who has deep respect and commitment to his work, and who combines these qualities with surprising off-the-wall expressiveness that communicates powerfully from the stage" - Emmett Chapman, Inventor of The Stick® 3/29/82

"Sometimes we are fortunate to meet and count as a friend, someone who has it all: good graces, talent, punctuality, loyalty, team player, storyteller, humor and a love for life! Michael Kollwitz is all these and more. For five ongoing years, Lahaina Arts Society, residents and visitors have been enthralled by his artistry and mastery, playing the Chapman Stick at our Banyan Tree Art Fairs. His music is so alive, varied and happy. I appreciate Michael's very special talents and I hope you are lucky enough to enjoy the same!" - Al Harty, President, Lahaina Arts Society, Lahaina, HI 12/04/12

“The instrument and music were fantastic!” - Pam Currier, Scientific and Technical Society Patent Administration, Motorola, Inc., Tempe, AZ 5/31/95

“Your excellent musicianship, along with the uniqueness of The Chapman Stick, proved to be real crowd pleasers for our audiences. Aside from these qualities, your flexibility, desire to please and friendly personality make you a real joy to work with” - Mike Styles, General Manager, Blockbuster Desert Sky Pavilion, Phoenix, AZ 11/1/94

"Thank you for your awesome performance here at Kaunoa! The seniors and the staff enjoyed listening to the amazing sounds that you produced on the Chapman Stick! You had the seniors tapping their feet and bouncing their heads to the music. Everyone left with a huge smile!" - Lori Okimoto, Kaunoa Senior Center, Paia, HI 09/26/11

"I'm a yoga teacher and I've been using your music in my yoga classes. My students love it because it's soothing and relaxing yet it's lively enough to keep them motivated. Most New Age recordings are too boring and put them to sleep. Your music has just the right amount of liveliness to keep them going. I'd love to purchase your new CD, "Here Comes Spring" to add to my collection of your music." - Sally Pawoll, Escondido, CA 6/13/05

"Michael Kollwitz is a true virtuoso of the Chapman Stick." - Damien Masterson, San Francisco, CA 2/12/06

"I have lots of Stick music that I listened to once, because I didn't like it. Yours however, will be in rotation for some time to come." - Chris Crain, author of "The Sticktionary" 12/1/03

“The amount of talent a Stick player has is most evident on solo pieces where the player literally has to become a one-man band. Using such a guideline would rank Mike Kollwitz among the very best. His solo pieces feature dazzling displays of a veritable cornucopia of music...” - Willie Moseley, Vintage Guitar magazine 2/26/93

“The man is a master” – Dave Bender, Weather Anchor, KOVR-13 Sacramento 5/23/03

“Have been nothing but delighted. Performed above and beyond our expectations” - David Ryder, Corporate Destination Services of AZ, Glendale, AZ 5/29/97

"Michael... You are awesome!" - Lilly Cortez, Producer of 'Sacramento & Co.', NEWS 10 - ABC TV 3/18/06

“You were a smashing hit not only with our employees but with our Publisher” - Lydia Kennedy, Reno Gazette-Journal, Reno, NV 7/21/97

"Your Chapman Stick performance was an excellent touch to the flavor of Sandra & Tom's wedding. They made an excellent choice in having you play. I'm recommending you to all my clients." - Gail Rainwater, Events To Remember 10/8/03

"Congrats! It looks like 2005 will be a big year for you and it's much deserved." - Kari Alexander, Anchor/Reporter, KMAX-TV, Sacramento, CA 1/11/05

"I have worked with lots of players and performers over the years, back when I played and more recently as a restaurant and bar manager. You, Sir, are a Pro! I love your music and I love having you in the room and I love working with you. I gave a little feedback on how the volume seemed out in the room and you adjusted immediately. Just like a Pro. What a pleasure!" - John Hankins, General Manager, Sacramento Brewing Co. 7/24/05

“An impressive and gifted performer” - Emmett Chapman, Inventor of The Stick® 3/3/96

“Your music is absolutely incredible. No one could believe the music was the result of just one instrument” - Sandy DuFour, The Warner Group, Sacramento, CA 5/25/99

“Your performance was a real treat for both young and old alike. We had numerous comments from people attending the event who were not only impressed with your exceptional musical skills, but also your unique instrument. The Chapman Stick is a crowd pleaser in its own right and we were fortunate to have you as a part of our event. Your enthusiasm, talent and expressive performance are extraordinary and very entertaining” - Robin Smith, Airport Administration, City of Scottsdale, AZ 4/19/93

“Your dependability and professionalism makes working with you very enjoyable! To future bookings!” - Kevin Koziol, Image Entertainment Productions, Tempe, AZ 4/4/94

“The perfect selection for both corporate events and concert and club venues” - Marguerite Berry, Encore Entertainment, Phoenix, AZ 1/97

“He has not only our recommendation, but our highest recommendation” - Ruth Shillingburg, Paul Arena Production Group, Scottsdale, AZ 1/97

"Your playing The Stick at our Mesa Leadership meeting was positively wonderful. Participants loved the sound, loved your playing and your personality. You are a most gracious and giving person and performer. What a treat." - Nancy A. Wolter, Performing Arts Supervisor, City of Mesa, AZ 12/7/93

“Mike is a skilled performer and consummate professional- my clients love it” - Lou Baskin, Owner, SRO Entertainment, Phoenix, AZ 12/96

“Your degree of professionalism is exceptional. Would be honored to be a reference” - Anne Owens, City of Glendale, AZ 2/26/93

"Thank you for entertaining at our event. We broke attendance records and I know it is, in part, because of your skills" - Amy Oppio, Nevada Museum of Art, Reno, NV 11/10/97

“Only musician we’ve ever had that somehow gets people to clap- repeatedly- during their dinners!” - George Gonzalez, Horseshoe Bar Grill, Loomis, CA 4/16/03

“Whenever he has played in the Phoenix area people are in awe of both his musicianship and The Stick. When he plays he sounds like two guitars and an electric bass all playing together when, in fact, he plays alone but his ten fingers dance nimbly over the twelve strings creating this illusion. He is a marvelous self-contained act who needs no accompaniment.” - Charles Swan, President, Jazz in AZ Inc., Scottsdale, AZ 6/21/97

"Thanks so much for your great performance at the Asparagus Festival. And thanks for being such a great sport. You saved the day after we lost a performer. You made our jobs much easier and it is greatly appreciated. we would love to have you back next year." - Ann Samuelson, Stockton Asparagus Festival 5/22/05

"One man with one instrument that sounds like a four-piece band! If you're not familiar with the man, or "The Stick", make a point to experience the performance of Michael Kollwitz, sure to impress you..." - Denise Costa, Reno Tahoe Wine & Food Festival 5/14/05

"Although I have listened to well over 1000 holiday CDs over the years, I can honestly report that "Frosty The Stickman" is absolutely unique. This is my first (and only) instrumental Christmas album played on The Chapman Stick...If you're looking for a broad range of lovely holiday instrumentals, get on the stick-- The Chapman Stick-- with Michael Kollwitz" - Carol Swanson, reviewer for ChristmasReviews.com 11/9/04

"Sweet, soothing sounds" is how Kollwitz describes his work. By his styling, you can tell he is enjoying what he's doing. Lighthearted, whimsical in his approach, on his release "Moments", he mixes originals with recognizable material ranging from classical, Broadway, jazz, rock and Hendrix's "Little Wing" - Voodoo Child magazine, Spring 2005

"Instrumentalist Michael Kollwitz is one of the top Chapman Stick players in the world...The Stick-man will hold you spellbound..." - Placer County Strawberry Festival, Roseville, CA 4/10/05

"Thank you for performing at this year's Stockton Asparagus Festival. Your generosity, cooperation and friendly spirit made it especially pleasurable working with you. You can be assured that your fine performances contributed greatly to the overall success of the Festival" - Cindy Hong, Stockton Asparagus Festival, Stockton, CA 4/28/04

"I can't thank you enough for this beautiful CD. As a guitar player myself I am astonished by this lovely instrument that, until you, did not know existed. Really great music." - Mohan, 21st Century Futures, Dana Point, CA 8/3/03

"Thank you for being a part of Merriment on Main 2003. Your performance was excellent! We had close to 15,000 people there that night, and many of them enjoyed your music. Thank you for helping to make the event such a success" - Shauna Manina, The Vacaville Reporter, Vacaville, CA 12/5/03

"We loved your Chapman Stick. It lent a very festive air to your part of the show" - Chris Palmer, Owner, Palmer & Wirfs Events, Portland, OR 12/19/03


"You are doing something great with your music and your rapport with your audience." - Jeff Hayes 4/25/04

"Your album “Moments” that I got at the Asparagus Festival on Saturday is wonderfully soothing and enjoyable. God Bless You, and thank you for your contributions to music." - Victor Picinich 4/26/04

"I have been bragging about your music to my family and friends. It was a honor to have met you." - Erica Jiminez 5/14/04

"I don't know how you did it, but the CD "Memories" is the best yet." - Allan Mosier 5/24/04

"Many thanks for the new CD. It is wonderful, as usual, thought the Roy and Dale's "Happy Trails" ending was a great touch." - Gary & Marian Reeder, Lincoln, CA 5/24/04

"I love the "Moments" CD and will certainly get the new "Memories" when I am there. My friends here enjoy your music and will be eager to hear a new CD." - Diane Grove 5/26/04

"It was a pleasure seeing you play this last week outside of Trader Joe's at the Kiwanis Art Affair. The CD's are incredible!" - Ron Noel, Sacramento, CA 6/8/04

"Michael, I have been playing your NEW CD, it's great, and it has given me a lot of relaxing moments. When I get home from work, I sit down with a glass of good wine and turn on your CD and fade away for a wail into my dream world of relaxation. Your music certainly relieves the stress of the day." - Andy Clausen 6/11/04

"I just want to say that The Chapman Stick is really, really cool. My class and I went to the Sacramento Jazz Jubilee and my teacher (who is a bass player like me) and I walked past and spotted you on The Stick. We got lost in the music. I just want to say how cool it is. IT'S VERY COOL!- Kate Peneyra 6/13/04

"I've seen you perform a few times and I really enjoy your gift and your music. You are truly an incredibly talented musician!" - Darren Bocksnick 6/30/04


"Just a short note... Wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed your music on the Chapman Stick. My wife and I saw you at the Reno Rib Cookoff yesterday... The sounds coming from you almost brought me to tears... awesome! We purchased your "Memories" CD... and almost wore it out on the way home to Carson City. Again... thanks so much for a beautiful experience..." - Tom Simmons, Carson City, NV 9/7/04

"My name is Veronica and my boyfriend Ron and I met you in Tahoe last summer. We love your music!" Veronica & Ron 9/16/04

"I have 2 of your CDs which are "Steppin' Out" and "Moments". I purchased those CDs at Lake Tahoe 2 years ago. You were my inspiration. I understand you have 2 other CDs and I want the whole collection. OH ya DO You Give Lessons? I wanna learn it from the best guy! PLease Oh PLease!!! " - Mitchell Narvasa, Concord, CA 9/21/04

"I attended the Harvest Festival today and bought 2 of your cd's and I am in awe. You are fantastic. I plan on ordering several for Christmas gifts. I swear if I didn't know better, that you are playing more than one instrument. So soothing and wonderful. Thanks for some decent music" - Pcain163@aol.com, 9/25/04

"O great Stick Master, I humbly bow before thee! Your CD is great! Such a pleasure to listen to your years of hard work on the instrument. 'Espanola' is probably my favorite, but it's hard to choose, it's all so good. It's my favorite original with 'North South East West' a close second. I love the arrangement of 'Angel'- I'm a Hendrix freak from way back; I saw him 4 times live and was lost when he left us. 'Song For My Father' has always been a favorite and you really made it shine, loved the "sax" at the end. I played it for a bunch of guys at work and they were very impressed and rightly so." - Rick Cucuzza, Prescott, AZ 10/6/04

"...may you continue- you make wonderful music. Peace and love" - Katie Gomez 10/10/04

"My wife and I heard Joe Conti playing in Kona, Hawaii earlier this year, which was our first experience hearing the Chapman Stick. Needless to say we love the music, since we enjoy smooth jazz and new age music. I found your website via Google, and enjoyed listening to your music on CD Baby. I'm looking forward to obtaining your entire collection of music, including your new Christmas CD." - Wes Jay, Harstine Island, WA 10/22/04

"We would love to have you back again - I got a lot of positive comments from people about your music." - Shauna Manina, Vacaville, CA 11/3/04

"Michael is a remarkable player of a very unique instrument, the Chapman Stick. He recently performed the opening set at the Sacramento Traditional Jazz Society and wowed the audience." - Bob Ringwald, Placerville, CA 11/6/04

"Happened to catch you on Channel 18 here in Sacramento. What a marvelous instrument! I've listened to several audio clips and am passing the word to many friends. Thanks for your music. I just have to decide which CD to buy first!" - Melinda 7/9/03

"I saw you at the Health & Harmony festival in Santa Rosa a few weeks ago and was really inspired by your Stickery." - Danny Castro 7/4/03

"Frosty arrived today and, of course, I had to preview it even though the season is a little ways off yet. It was great!" - Sharon Kolacny, Tempe, AZ 11/12/04

"Keep me on your mailing list, I love hearing about you and your music! I gotta tell you, one of my proudest musical experiences was playing drums with you in Phoenix. If you ever come back here, or just want to play with me again, I'll be there! " - Jason Kay, Scottsdale, AZ 12/1/04

"Michael, you get better with each CD you come out with. I have been so busy I've only had time to listen to FROSTY one time but it's GREAT!" - Al and Mary Lou Mosier 12/3/04

"I picked up your CD "Moments" a couple of years ago in Santa Rosa at the fair. Love the music and the instrument is amazing." - Angie Antang 12/6/04

"I gave your CD "Frosty The Stick Man" to my wife Xmas morning. She liked it very much. We played it every morning thru the NEW YEAR." - Darwin De Bois, in the deep woods of Idaho 1/11/05

"Keep doing what you do, your awesome. We absolutely love the Frosty tunes." - Jeff & Amy Page, West Sacramento, CA 1/25/05

"...as I write this, I am listening to your "Memories" CD and I just want to take a moment to thank you for all the time and dedication you've spent over the years developing your music & chops. I know there have been countless hours of practice and playing for no one but yourself and possibly family. No packed houses with audiences cheering, no applause and no accolades. Doing all of this solely for your own enjoyment was reward enough. Hopefully you have reached a point now where you are now enjoying some very positive feedback from your many fans. I just wanted to put my 2 cents in as well and say thank you so much for your wonderful and beautiful music." - Richard Lechner, Chatsworth, CA 2/17/05

"My husband and I were so enthralled with you today at the Sacramento Jazz Jubilee that I had to look you up as soon as I got home! You are phenomenal...easily the best we heard all day today!" - Lisa Schnaidt, Manteca, CA 5/30/05

"It was a pleasure to have you again at the Music At Noon series, Michael, and we thank you for taking the time to add a little joy to the lives of our Westminster friends. It is gracious musicians like you who make this free concert serve our community so well. You are smart, you are talented both in art and business, and you are thoroughly professional and deserve much success. A wise musician who wants to 'go places' can learn a lot from you. With deep impressions and continued appreciation" - Brad Slocum & "fans", Westminster Presbyterian Church, Sacramento, CA 6/1/05

"GREAT CD's! We're enjoying the beejeepers out of them. I am going to play them between our sets at our rock gigs. You're very talented to play such a complicated instrument with apparent ease - yeah, yeah, I know it takes practice but you got that other part." - David Arrich 6/2/05

"Michael: As I have heard it said "and the hits just keep coming "Here Comes Spring" is great. I have played it a number of times, and truly enjoyed it. Keep them coming, Michael!" - Al & Mary Lou Mosier 6/2/05

"Congratulations on your new CD! Yes, I would love to have your new CD "Here Comes Spring" since my life is full of stress and music is one of the ways how I can relax... Please, let me know how I should send a money order to you. " - Jarka Lovdova, Czech Republic 5/31/05

"I saw you in Old Sac a week or so ago (I was on a break from Jury Duty at the time) and you played one of the songs from the new CD. I've told a number of friends and family about you and the Chapman Stick since I heard you at the Placer County Strawberry Festival. It's really a unique instrument and I enjoyed hearing it. Good luck with your new CD." - Lynda Turpin 5/20/05

"I love your cd's . I dropped one off with my oldest son. Have you ever played any Hard Rock with the Stick? I'm sure he would love to hear that. You know the age , Rock is everything, hahahaha. I hope to expand his musical interests. I'm thinking of getting him a Stick. It sounds like a very adaptable instrument. Do you have any recordings of The Stick and Rock? Looking forward to hearing you play again." - Tim Anton 3/13/05

"I've recommended your website to the people at work and will keep doing so as the Stick Guitar and you are both awesome. I've had several people ask me to make them copies of your music. I refused and suggested they visit your website and purchase them directly from you." - Bill & Joy Wilkins, Sacramento, CA 9/13/06

"my girlfriend and i really enjoy your cd." - jim noel 3/11/05

"I have been waiting for the opportunity to show your talent to so many people. I think this time would be good. Tesla will be performing and Toni Tone Tony and Ronnie Montrose, we also have one more national act to really help out the Cerebral Palsy children of Stockton. I would like to put you on before the last act which is tesla, I want everyone to see this extraordinary performance of yours." Casey Morris, Guitars For Life, Garnerville, NY 2/25/05

"I will be looking forward to hearing you play again, I love the sound, it goes right to the soul." - Tom 2/8/05

"You should get an award for the most ambitious musician in Sacramento!" - Brad Slocum, Sacramento, CA 4/28/05

"Thank you for performing at our wedding. We just thank God we met by chance, dining at Aioli Bodega and heard you play the Chapman Stick. Bryan and I immediately looked at each other and agreed you were the perfect choice. I am so pleased we gave you freedom to select the proper music which you handled with great finesse. Our family members who obviously had never seen, let alone heard a Chapman Stick were also impressed and commented later at the reception which followed that evening." - Teri & Bryan O'Sullivan, Gold River, CA 11/19/04

"We will have Michael K. and his Chapman Stick on Friday night. His smooth sounds from this unique instrument have become very popular with our patrons." - Cindy Zibull, Co-Owner, Z's Wine Bar & Bistro, El Dorado Hills, CA 6/30/05

"You are amazing! I (and my husband, now!), really love your music. My husband has a 50th BD coming up this year and I was considering music for it. After hearing you, if I do have music, you are the only choice.Thank you so much for your awesome talent and music." - Linda Derouaux, Benicia, CA 7/1/05

"Michael, my wife saw you at the California State Fair and bought three of your CD'S. They are just wonderful! You probably hear this 100 times a day, but we had never heard of a Chapman Stick. I just
wanted to write a short note of thanks for the pleasure and peace your talent gives us - your music sounds great through our Bose System! I printed out your concert schedule and hope to hear you "live" soon. Thanks for sharing your talent!" - Tim Winters, Roseville, CA 9/12/05

"I was at the fair a few Thursdays ago, about four in the afternoon, when we wandered into the food court in search of a corn dog (me) and cinnamon buns (my wife and ten year-old daughter). We were assaulted near the hot tubs by bad rap music turned up to ear bleed level. I suggested we high-tail it past the stage and was blessed with the sounds of “Little Wing” on an acoustic guitar. I remember a feeling of relief at hearing some “real music” masterfully played, and didn’t think too much about it after that. I didn’t even realize at the time you were playing live. As we were leaving the fair around ten p.m., we passed the place we’d heard “Little Wing” and heard a wonderful version of “Stairway to Heaven” emanating from a food vendor. I waited in line five minutes to ask who the artist was— the young woman said, “Oh, it’s the guy who was playing earlier. He gave us one of his CDs.” She showed it to me, and I wrote down your name. When I got home, I ordered four of your albums from CD Baby. Money well spent. Thanks so much for being at the fair. Ironically, even though we live in the same town, I probably would have never known about your wonderful music if the food vendor hadn’t been playing your “Stepping Out” CD." - Eric Warp, Fair Oaks, CA 9/8/05

"Hi Michael, My, it seems as though our first encounter at the Sacramento City Plaza a few years ago was a real "take off" for your career. Must be because I've bought 3 of your CD's. Am even listening to Frosty as I type this! Might get over to see you at the fair... anyway, continued success!" - Skip Daum, Sacramento, CA 9/1/05

"I really enjoyed your music at the Fillmore Jazz Fest in San Francisco. I just finished listening to the two cd's you sent me and you sound fantastic thank you again for sending them to me. I will be ordering the rest of your cd's again real soon" - Mike Summers, Hayward, CA 8/24/05

"Listening to the disc we recorded of your performance at the Solano County Fair......WOW, love all of it!" - Jeff Ross, Fresno, CA 8/21/05

"I don't know a Bb from a flat tire but I do have a pretty good ear for music. I purchased your CD 'Steppin Out' and after hearing this CD, bought three more (so I must have a VERY good ear for music)! My son is also interested in the Chapman Stick." - Robert Pederson 8/19/05

"We just visited your website in hopes that you may be scheduled to appear this year at the State Fair again. Mary and I so enjoyed you and your music last year we a praying to see you this year. If you have plans to appear this year I would really appreciate an e-mail from you as to the date and time. Also wish to let you know we enjoy your CDs very much. Thanks." - Bob and Mary Holst 8/15/05

"I first heard this music at the Mandarin festival in Auburn and fell in love with the sound. I had never heard of this instrument before and still am in a state of wonder." - Russ Weikle, Applegate, CA 11/23/05

"Just wanted to let you know what a wonderful addition you were to our show in Auburn today." - Carole Berry, Owner, Twin Bridges Productions, Redding, CA 2/19/06

"I accidentally came across your website and listened to your music. BEAUTIFUL!!! So restful and relaxing to listen to. Thank you. I have enclosed my check for..." - Sam Parker, Hillsdale, MI 2/23/06

"I cannot even begin to tell you of how many times or the hours I've spent listening to the CD I got from you, when you were in old downtown Sac. It gives me great pleasure and such a great CD to listen to. I am looking forward to seeing you again and your upcoming 15 minutes of fame on Channel 10. Far out dude!! It's just awesome. I am also looking forward to saying: "I knew him when..." Well just a brief note. I am off to the Celtic Fair in Calaveras County for the weekend. You should try to get in for next year. I think you'd be a perfect blend with Celtic music, or maybe it's because I am biased towards the music you play." - James Schoknecht, Sacramento, CA 3/10/06

"Your work speaks for itself and stands on it's own. Me, I have enough to do with one string at a time and one fret at a time. How you play that thing is beyond me. PLUS you make it appear effortless." - David Arrich, Angels Camp, CA 3/15/06

"I've been on the website-- it's wonderful! My kids are fascinated! We're enjoying the CD's we purchased and will look forward to sharing them with many friends and family over the year as we give them as gifts." - Cheryl Lewis, Vacaville, CA 3/15/06

"I have many friends (music people) that just have to check you out. Man you one cool dude. Thanx again for the great music, your CD can always be found near the player." Steve Hastings, Sebastopol, CA 3/13/06

"It is so nice to hear great music in this age. I so enjoy it. Good luck to you and I can't wait to get your new CD "Waterfallin'"." Brenda Morris, Shaver Lake, CA 3/14/06

"FYI - my wife listens to your CDs every morning getting ready for work and absolutely loves both of them." - Patrick 3/16/06

"Congratulations on your TV appearance! I was in South Africa and just returned so I missed it, but hope to see you at the Asparagus Festival again this year. I am looking forward to purchasing the new CD you did last year as I don't have it yet and love listening to all of the rest of them." - Kathy Harden, Champaign-Urbana, IL 3/21/06

"I wanted you to know I found you by accident this morning. While searching for photo borders, I found your letter of reference from the manager of Borders Books & Music. Intrigued, I traced it back to your website. Having no experience with the Chapman Stick, I downloaded a track, then another, and another. I was sufficiently impressed to order Carnival and Steppin' Out. The sound is beautiful, the melodies infectious, and the technical play incredible. Two-minute snippets made me an instant fan." - Darren Somsen 6/18/04 - FROM CLIENTS & FANS...


Still working on that hot first release.



One of the instrument's earliest pioneers and one of Emmett Chapman's first students, Michael is a Chapman Stick virtuoso with 38 years experience. Played with both hands using a pianistic technique on a stringed instrument, the Chapman Stick is unique, versatile and probably the most expressive musical instrument ever devised. The result is music that sounds unlike any other instrument.

Devoted to spreading Knowledge of the Chapman Stick, Michael has performed at over a thousand festivals, fairs & corporate events combined. Carlos Santana said his music is "a gift from the heart". He's been an opening act for The Beach Boys and has introduced many to the new instrument including Mick Fleetwood, Herbie Hancock,  Keith Emerson, Steve Morse and others. 

His albums and music have spread worldwide and he's shared his talents with well over a million people in the last decade. His music has been featured on national radio, television appearances and a short documentary. His musical style encompasses light jazz, classic rock, latin, Hawaiian and other influences. With a catalog of 19 releases he is the most prolific Chapman Stick recording artist to date.

CONTACT:  (760) 333-0658   michael.kollwitz@gmail.com

Band Members