Michael Spiro’s Spirology


Michael Spiro’s Spirology

Jan 27, 2024
8:00 PM - 9:30 PM

Rendon Hall/Fiddler Annex @ California Jazz Conservatory

2040 Addison Street, 2040 Addison Street

Michael Spiro’s group Spirology explores the relationship of traditional Afro-Cuban folkloric music to Cuban popular music and dance forms. In this performance, “Spirology” will combine the music of the Lukumi bata drums with the oldest form of Cuban charanga—the danzon. The blending of these styles creates a unique musical adventure, and we encourage both dancers and listeners alike to check out this original musical format. The concert will feature some of the Bay Area’s finest Afro-Cuban and charanga musicians and is guaranteed to delight both your ears and your feet!

Band Members

Michael Spiro – percussion and vocals

John Calloway – piano and flute

Steve Senft-Herrera – bass

Tregar Otton – violin

Miguel Martinez – flute

Remi Spiro – percussion and vocals

Chance Utter – percussion and vocals

Band Bio

Known for his work in the Latin music field, Michael Spiro is an internationally recognized percussionist, educator, and recording artist.

He is a ten-time Grammy nominee and has produced seminal recordings in the Latin music genre, including ”Mabagwe”, “Canto América”, “BataKetu”, “BataMbira”, “Mark Levine and the Latin Tinge”, and “Grupo Ilu-Aña”. His performing and recording credits cover an array of internationally renowned artists: from pop artists such as David Byrne, Carlos Santana, and Charlie Watts to Latin music icons Eddie Palmieri, Israel Lopez (Cachao), and Richard Egues, to numerous jazz luminaries including Ella Fitzgerald, Bobby Hutcherson and McCoy Tyner.

Michael is a prolific recording artist and record producer, and his work continued throughout the pandemic. In 2017 he co-produced “Canto America” with his long-time working partner Wayne Wallace. It received widespread critical acclaim and was nominated for a Grammy in the Latin-Jazz category. In 2019 he collaborated with Jose Luis Gomez to release a recording of contemporary Cuban rumba: “Mabagwe – a Tribute to the Elders”. Produced by his long-time musical colleague Jesús Diaz, it resulted in a nomination for a Cubadisco Premio in 2019 (the equivalent of the Cuban Grammies). Michael is the first foreigner to receive such an honor. This was followed by a co-production with Joe Galvin in 2020 of a performance/documentary “Los Bandos” filmed in the city of Matanzas, Cuba. This hour-long film explores the music of the original Matanzas rumba groups from over 100 years ago and was nominated for a Cubadisco Premio in 2021. Currently, he is celebrating the release of his new production of Cuban charanga music by the group “Orquesta La Moderna Tradicion”, entitled “Encantado”.

In 2011 Michael was appointed Associate Professor of Percussion at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University where he developed the curriculum for Latin and Brazilian music in both the percussion and jazz departments. He retired from that position in 2019 but continues to be in high demand as a guest artist at universities and percussion organizations worldwide. His myriad of percussion books have set the standard for Latin music pedagogy, as have his critically acclaimed instructional DVDs. In the last decade, he has been a trailblazer in creating educational content for the internet with the launching of two ground-breaking websites: “congamasterclass.com” and “sambamasterclass.com”.

As a performer, Michael continues to co-lead and perform with “OMT”, still holds the conga drum chair in the internationally acclaimed “Wayne Wallace Latin Jazz Quintet” (with Grammy nominations in 2011, 2014, and 2015), and co-leads “Conjunto Karabali” with long-time Santana percussionist Karl Perazzo.

The beat goes on!

Learn more at Michael-Spiro.com

Proof of vaccination is no longer required for Covid-19. Masking is optional and masks are available upon request. The California Jazz Conservatory kindly requests that anyone feeling unwell refrain from attending in-person events of any kind.