In 1964, Mike started his own big band which was featured at Donte's Jazz Club from 1966 to 1969. After hearing some of Mike's charts, Doc Severinsen asked Mike to send some charts to New York for the NBC Tonight Show band. This started a twenty-three year relationship with Doc and the Tonight Show Band, for which he wrote over 300 original compositions and arrangements. Two of these, "Peachy" and "Superslick," were used as ending themes of the show for years. Other work in Los Angeles included and arranging and composing for television and movies, such as Dynasty, Falcon Crest, Rocky Three and the Academy Awards Show.
MB Mike moved to Colorado in 1987, where he released an album on TBA Records featuring Ernie Watts. After spending six years in Colorado, he moved to Vancouver, Washington in 1993.
Mike moved back to the LA area in 1997 and formed a new big band, which has performed at the Jazz Bakery, Clancey's, Ken Poston Big Band Party and the Big Band Jazz Party in Palm Springs. Meanwhile Mike's old big band recording, Live at Donte's 1968, was released around 2000 by VSOP Records.
Mike wrote for the Academy Awards Show in 2000, 2001, 2003 and 2005. He still works occasionally as a sideman--most recently with Bud Shank.
The Mike Barone Big Band has released 7 CDs since 2005 on Rhubarb Recordings, Mike's own independent label. They are: Live 2005!, Metropole, By Request, Class Of 68, Flight Of The Bumblebee, Live 2005! Redux and Birdland. Other releases by Rhubarb Recordings include Trombones Unlimited - Original Recordings, The Barone Brothers album Blues and Other Happy Moments and You Name It by Turquoise.
Mike is currently writing and planning his next big band CD. The band rehearses every Tuesday morning at the Musicians Union in Hollywood and is open to the public.
Leader/Composer/Arranger: Mike Barone
Trumpets: Tony Bonsera, James Blackwell, Mark Lewis, Bob Summers.
Subs: Jon Bradley, Rob Schaer, Josh Aguilar, Dave Richards, Brian Swartz, Adolfo Acosta, Brian Mantz, Nick Chaffe.
Trombones: Charlie Loper, Dave Ryan, Bill Booth, Juliane Gralle.
Subs: Craig Gosnell, Jim McMillen, Ben Devitt, Lori Stuntz, Bruce Fowler,
Andrew Lippman, Steve Hughes, Paul Nowell.
Saxes: Tom Luer, Glen Garrett, Jon Armstrong, Vince Trombetta, Brian Williams.
Subs: Phil Feather, Jeff Driskill, Gerald Pinter, Dan Kaneyuki, Tim McKay, Andrew Neu, Michael Czaja.
Piano: Sam Hirsh.
Subs: Andy Langham, Rich Eames, Ryan Pryor.
Bass: David Tranchina.
Subs: Lyman Medeiros, Ken Wild, John Belzaguy, Rick Shaw, Edwin Livingston, Alex Frank.
Drums: Adam Alesi.
Subs: Zack Albetta, Jamey Tate.