Mike Cowie
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Mike Cowie

Band Jazz Funk

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


"FIERY SOUND, ENERGY, AND PHENOMENAL TECHNIQUE"
– Stephen Pederson, Halifax Herald

"[Mike] plays the trumpet as though dissecting the still warm body of a tune with his bare hands, with a sound dipped in lava that he pulls up and through his horn right from the floorboards."
– Stephen Pederson, Halifax Herald

"...gave the trumpet a vocal like warmth in some numbers and a melancholy beauty in others..."
– Anne Ingram, Daily Gleaner

"Arranger/trumpet player Mike Cowie gets to show off his abundant talents.
– Ron Foley MacDonald, Daily News

"Cowie's playing was especially effective last night . . . blew through the horns dynamic range from his sweet repeating horn line behind More Then Likely to a wild banshee screech on Coal Black"
– Sandy MacDonald, Daily News

". . . some of the nicest funk/dance grooves since the days of the Average White Band . . . heavily influenced by Bill Chase . . . his tribute to Miles Davis comes right out of the Amandala period . . . some of the best party music to have been recorded in the last 20 years."
– Thomas R Erdmann, Professor Elon University NC,
for The International Trumpet Guild Journal

"Mike's newest show is WOW short for 'Wild' 'Original' and 'Wonderful'. Loved it!"
– Brad Fox, President, ABI systems

"What can I say about Big Night Out except TOTALLY AWESOME!!

The high energy exuded from Mike Cowie and the musicians enveloped the crowd and put them in a frenzy. My feet wouldn't stop moving to the 'funk.' Everyone there had a wonderful night."
– Mary Conrod, Sable Off Shore, Mobile Oil

"Michael Cowie is an entertainer with a capital 'E'! He always gives 100% — whether it is playing his horn solo or leading The Big Night Out. Michael is a professional; he knows the business and what makes it work; he makes our job easier and our clients look great!"
– Michael Ardenne, President
Ardenne International Inc., Artist & Event Management




"Mike Cowie is recognized as a great ambassador of the Atlantic Federation of Musicians. He is a life long professional musician, producer and recording artist. Mike's performances as a bandleader are among the best. He has provided his music services for the cream a la cream of entertainment buyers including conventions, nightclubs, lounges and community events. Mike is a long time friend and band mate. Today Mike Cowie is one of the busiest bandleaders in our region, employing hundreds of musicians each year. Congratulations, Mike."
– Your friend, John J. Alphonse, President
Atlantic Federation of Musicians

"If there is one person you can depend on to pull through, it is Mike Cowie. His enthusiasm, connections and great ideas have contributed to the success of any program I have engaged him in."
– Audrey McNeil, Marketing Manager
Atlantic Wholesalers

"Mike Cowie adds spice to our special events. We have been thrilled to have him perform at several of our hospitality functions. His vibrant personality and his music bring our guests to their feet."
– Dawn Boylan, Aliant
- various


Discography

Lucid Blue
Big Night Out
Mike Cowie Live at the Birmingham
Peace
Yuletide Cheer

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Mike Cowie is a trumpet player, singer and songwriter in a funk/jazz/blues style.

After the success of his Big Night Out CD, which brought Mike's original jazz/funk based music to audiences in Canada and Europe. Mike has followed up with the release of his latest CD Lucid Blue. A stunning fusion of Miles Davis' In a Silent Way period with hip-hop beats and electronica. Ten new Mike Cowie originals, combine computer/DJ soundscapes with his stunning trumpet tone. The funky beats, beautiful melodies and sophisticated chord progressions create a sound that is new, fresh and timeless.

"The sound that I hear in my head involves many different rhythms that lock in with each other, and harmonies that work horizontally as well as vertically so that my melodies can have the right ambience. I then build new bass sounds, process drum loops, layer my synths and samplers to give the music room to move."

Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, one of the most fertile areas of the world for producing highly original and creative musicians, Mike, at the age of 16, began sitting in with the legendary Bucky Adams, learning the art of improvisation. "Bucky was always throwing new musical concepts at me, tempos I couldn't play yet, tunes I should know and didn't; he was always telling me to 'play less notes!'"

Mike spent a year at Dalhousie University where, as a first year student, he formed and conducted the Dalhousie University stage band. His first paying gig, however, was with The Prime Minister of the Blues, Dutch Mason. The gig was at the Waverly Fire Hall where they performed for a motorcycle gang. "When I played with the greatest Blues band in Canadian history, it changed my life!"

At 19, Mike moved to Toronto to study music at Humber College. Multicultural Toronto was a great place for a young musician. "I'd be playing for a Jewish wedding one night and in a Calypso band from Trinidad the next. There was so much music it was unbelievable."

Mike toured across Canada, New York City and Boston and freelanced in Toronto. "During this time a bunch of us would get together and play in this after-hours club. To get in you had to get past the doorman, walk through a clothing store — that was never open in the day — through another door and at the end of the hallway was this nightclub. We were there for 2 years every Sunday from 1am to 6am and developed a huge following." The group became Vertical Hold and started getting gigs at legitimate clubs and a spot on the Toronto TV show Just Jazz. "Columbia and Warner Bros. came calling, but Steve Webster, the bass player, got the gig with Billy Idol for the Rebel Yell album and tour and the rest of us became involved with other projects . . . timing is everything!" It was around then that Mike left for the US.

"I got to work with these American cats who were specialists in specific styles, and absolute monsters at playing Jazz. I played with B3 player Jeff Stole and ex Buddy Rich guitarist George Prichard in Milwaukee, Harry James and Glen Miller lead trumpet player Andy Hagan in Atlanta, Weasel Parker from the Count Basie band in Cleveland and harmonica player Sugar Blue from the Rolling Stones in Chicago."

In the late 80s, Mike returned to Canada with his young family. Halifax's beautiful, ocean locale, laid back lifestyle, and the nearness of old friends and family made it natural to think about staying. "When many of the musicians, who had left town years ago, started moving back the scene really came alive!"

Since returning home some
Career Highlights:

* Appearances at jazz festivals in Halifax, Charlottetown, Moncton, Shediac, Fredericton, St. John, Edmunston, Rimouski, Ottawa and Fribourg Switzerland.

* Recording his original composition Suite in Blue for CBC at the first sold out jazz concert at the Sir James Dunn Theatre.

* Recording and touring with international Grammy winning jazz artist Warren Chiasson.

* Playing 7 nights a week at the Birmingham Bar and Grill for one year, recording an ECMA nominated CD Mike Cowie and Friends Live!

* Receiving a gold record for his trumpet solo on Sloan's One Chord to Another.

* Arranging and producing award winning CD's for Theresa Malenfant, Liz Rigney, and Cheryl Lescom.

* Touring as a special guest soloist with Lennie Gallant.

* Raising just over $100,000.00 for school band programs in the Maritime Provinces with his We Believe in Music program. 35 shows where over 6,000 elementary through high school students had the opportunity to perform professional level arrangements with professional musicians complete with clinics, workshops and rehearsals.

* Having his original compositions recorded by Theresa Malenfant, Cheryl Lescom, Wayne Nicholson and the Cowie/Mitchell Band.

* Recorded and/or performed with Sloan, Lennie Gallant, Rita MacNeil, Theresa Malenfant, Frankie Vallie and the 4 Seasons, Leslie Gore, Matt Minglewood, Richard Wood, Dutch Mason, Joh