Michael Herring – Biography
Double Bass, Composer, Arranger
Michael Herring is a double-bassist, composer and arranger based in Toronto. His focus is on jazz, both modern and traditional, although he also performs and writes in a variety of genres, including folk, world, and pop/rock. He has a strong sound and musical personality, and thrives in open and improvised settings.
Herring leads and co-leads a number of groups which focus on original music of which he is a major contributor:
Michael Herring’s Vertigo, an original jazz sextet comprised of the strongest voices in the next generation of Canadian Jazz and New York’s David Binney on alto saxophone, has just released Dark Materials, a follow-up to Coniferous Revenge, which garnered critical acclaim, including being picked as one of the Top 5 Debut albums of 2006 by All About Jazz New York.
Herring co-leads Peripheral Vison along with guitarist and long-time collaborator Don Scott; a modern-jazz quartet that brings out the synergy between their strong musical personalities and their complimentary writing styles. Peripheral Vision’s debut release and supporting tour are scheduled for spring of 2010.
Herring’s compositions and bass playing can also be heard in the collectives God’s Gift to Yoda (indie jazz-rock), which has released two EP’s (Scribble Man, The Music of Sandra Biennale) and will be recording their first full-length album in the fall of 2009 and in The Uplifters (New Orleans pop), where you can hear Herring’s lead and backing vocals and lyrics.
He has shared the stage with such great musicians as David Binney, Bernie Senensky, Ab Baars (ICP/Amsterdam), Ken Vandermark, Jah Youssouf (Mali, Africa), Mansa Sissoko (Mali, Africa), David Braid, Kirk MacDonald, Dave Clark, P.J. Perry, Stich Wynston, Tannis Slimmon, Nick ‘The Brownman’ Ali, William Carn, Laila Biali, Jason Wilson and Tabarruk (reggae, with jazz influences), Norman Marshall-Villeneuve, Mike Murley, Percy Sledge, Ernest Ranglin, and Brinsely Forde (Aswad). Besides playing and touring in Canada, he has toured with his own band in Korea, and with various ensembles in Europe, the United Kingdom, and the Caribbean. Michael’s compositions and arrangements have been featured in the repertoires of many ensembles, including Jason Wilson & Tabarruk, The Nick Ali Trio, the Bokker Buckle Band, and the Don Scott Quartet, and he wrote the soundtrack to the short film In Harms’s Way.
Herring grew up in Victoria, B.C., then moved to Toronto, where he studied with Canadian Jazz greats David Young and Don Thompson at the University of Toronto’s Jazz Performance Program. He has been invited to attend the Banff International Jazz Workshop twice (2000, 2003) and lived in New York (2004). He has also studied with Drew Gress, Mark Helias, Dave Douglas, Kenny Werner, Joe Lovano, Joey Baron, Tony Malaby, Angelica Sanchez, Johannes Weidenmueller, James Genus, and Mark Turner, as well as with world-renowned bassists Rufus Reid and Ray Brown.
‘Michael Herring has established himself as one of the most creative musicians on the Canadian scene’ Joseph Blake – Times-Colonist
‘[a] Toronto bassplayer with a penchant for contemporary grooves, colours and energy, cutting-edge but accessible sounds inspired by New York’s downtown jazz innovators’ Doug Fischer – The Ottawa Citizen
‘one of the most exciting and interesting [albums] to arrive this year, The ensemble passages are all rich in texture, catchy hooks relieve the aura of intellectual rigour, the boss’s bass soars and swoops and the overall impact is tremendous’ Geoff Chapman – Toronto Star
Michael Herring – Biography