Michael White Quintet / Bio

Legendary Jazz Violinist Michael White with masterful band members, bring truly innovative music to the world of Jazz. Michael White Quintet transports " Timeless, Ageless, Borderless Sound with Kozmic Groove, takes audience into Another Dimension"

Michael White is a truly original and groundbreaking violinist in the realm of jazz. He is also a composer, educator, innovator, and major recording artist formerly on Capitol, Columbia, Impulse and Elektra/Asylum records. In the 1960s, he introduced his unique violin style into the jazz scenes of the Bay Area and New York, playing with luminaries such as John Coltrane, Sun Ra and Pharoah Sanders among many others. In the early 1970s, he was a founding member of the first fusion group, the "Fourth Way". He released five albums with the Michael White Quartet on Impulse records, and toured throughout the United States and Europe. He has performed in Lagos, Nigeria with Stevie Wonder and Sun Ra. He continues to play with Pharoah Sanders, appearing on Sanders' 1996 album Message From Home. In 1998 he released an album of duets with Bill Frisell entitled Motion Pictures.

The Michael White Quintet (MWQ) was born in 2003, When Michael reunited with Leisei Chen, his soul mate, life and music partner. His latest recording "Voices", features a reunion with his original Impulse! Records rhythm section of Cecil McBee, bass; Kenneth Nash, percussion; along with guitarist Timothy Young and vocalist Leisei Chen. White's recent release, “Voices”, has received praise from jazz critics as well as awards from the International Songwriting Competition and Independent Music Awards. Songs from the album were featured on the PBS documentary “Road Trip Nation”. Released at the same time as Verve's re-issue of his album "The Land of Spirit and Light," the album "Voices" connects White's past body of work to his current creative endeavors, and prompted the formation of the Michael White Quintet. Says White of the group's philosophy, "The cornerstones of our music are 'LOVE. HEALING. INSPIRATION. HOPE.' Our sound is intended to touch one's heart and fill one's body with a 'kozmic groove'!"

Highly requested worldwide for reissue, his impulse albums “Spirit Dance” “Pneuma” and "The Land of Spirit and Light" have recently been re-released as well as “X-Factor” and “White Night” from Elektra after 40 years from the original releases. "The Blessing Song" from Pneuma has been compiled among many the world's renowned DJs such as BBC1 top DJ Gilles Peterson on "Pure Fire! A Gilles Peterson Impulse! Collection"(UK). Highly acclaimed as a Spiritual Jazz Master, his music is resonating through generations globally.

Currently Michael White is home-based in Los Angeles with his wife and musical partner multi cultural Jazz vocalist Leisei Chen, actively performing with the Michael White Quintet UNIT1 & UNIT2. MWQ UNIT1 consists of world-class JAZZ MASTER musicians, MWQ UNIT2 consists of L.A. based international musicians. Recently through serendipitous occurrences & encounters with artists, musicians and arts supporters, Michael & Leisei were led to create their band's NEW project "tour the ARTS.MWQ", producing & performing multi-cultural ARTS events for people of all colors and arts coming together for HUMANITY in beautiful artistic collaborations. The Michael White Quintet, music, arts & project will travel the WORLD.

Autumn 2012, Michael White was selected for the prestigious DCA (department of cultural affairs) COLA (city of Los Angeles) fellowship award, which he is commissioned to produce NEW WORKS. The NEW WORKS will be premiered and his band will be presented to perform at GRAND PERFORMANCES, Southern California's largest presenter of free performing arts programs in Los Angeles on JUNE 28th 2013.

"Michael White has appeared in San Francisco, as a special guest with The John Coltrane Quartet, McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Gallison, Elvin Jones, along with Wes Mongomery and Eric Dolphy" Joe Bonner, Richard Davis,Henry Grimes, Tootie Heath, Philly Joe Jones (band), Rasaan Roland Kirk (band), Herbie Lewis, Buddy Montgomery, Eddie Moore, Phineas Newborn Jr., Odean Pope, George Szabo, Lonnie Liston Smith, McCoy Tyner, Alice Coltrane, Joe Henderson, John Handy, Sonny Simmons and others.

Montreux Jazz Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, Berkeley Jazz Festival, Pacific Coast Jazz Festival, FESTAC Multi-Arts Festival (Lagos, Nigeria), Newport Jazz Festival Violin Summit (with Ray Nance and Jean Luc-Ponty), Eddie Moore Jazz Festival (San Francisco, California), San Francisco Jazz Festival (Fourthway Reunion), Eagle Rock Music Festival (Los Angeles)

* 2012 DCA COLA Individual Artist Fellowship Award
* 2011 Michael White Quintet: Unit 2 addition to Los Angeles County Arts Commission's Musician Roster
* 2010 "Living Legend" Certificate of Recognition from US Congress, CA Legislature Assembly California State and the city of Los Angeles
* 2007 Winner in The 6th Annual Independent Music Awards (IMAs)
* 2006 Second Place Winner in The International Songwriting Competition (ISC)
* 2006 Honorable Mentions-Session 1 in The John Lennon Songwriting Contest
* Voice of America Radio New Star Awards
* Down Beat Magazine Award for Talent Deserving Wider Recognition
* Faculty member of the Cornish College of The Arts

BOOKING: The Michael White Quintet is available for international engagements/tours, festivals, concerts, master classes, workshops, and multimedia projects.

Contact - booking@leisei-michael.com : +1.323.366.9986

General Info

Band Members
Michael White, Leisei Chen, Michael Howell, Heshima Mark Williams, Kenneth Nash
Artist Name
Michael White Quintet
Profile Page
Active Since
Jazz / Experimental / World

Contact Info

Los Angeles, CA