A prominent part of the soundtrack to our times, Michael McDonald has been thrilling listeners with his distinctively soulful style for four decades. From "70s-era Doobie Brothers classics such as "What A Fool Believes" and solo hits like "I Keep Forgettin?" through two highly-acclaimed Motown covers albums and recent guest spots with alternative buzz bands Grizzly Bear and Holy Ghost, the five-time Grammy-winning McDonald is that rare thing in contemporary pop music – an artist and songwriter whose work is both timeless and ever-evolving.
Along with his musical contributions, McDonald has long been an active humanitarian. Over the years, he has lent his performing talents to many causes and benefits, including Toys R Us Children’s Fund, MusiCares, the National Council of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse and the 7UP Grammy Signature Schools Program. Most recently, in April 2011, he was part of a star-studded lineup at Kokua For Japan, a concert that raised $1.6 million for tsunami relief.
Yet for all his accomplishments, McDonald has kept a modestly low profile. Shunning theatrics and trend-chasing, he has trusted in the power of his singular voice and a deep catalog of memorable songs to point the way through his long career. Few have made such an impact with so little media hoopla.
Born into a musical family in St. Louis on February 12, 1952, Michael started singing when he was four years old. After tinkering with banjo and guitar, he found his true passion at the piano. Soon he was writing his first songs and doing the time-honored apprenticeship with bands in the family garage. Determined to pursue music full-time, McDonald moved to L.A in the early ‘70s, where he honed his skills as a session musician and singer.
That soon led to an invitation to join Steely Dan. Over the course of four classic albums, from Katy Lied to Gaucho, McDonald became an integral part of the group’s sound, singing background vocals on FM staples like “Black Friday” and “Peg.”
In the mid-‘70s, McDonald joined The Doobie Brothers, helping the band redefine their funky R & B sound as a singer, keyboardist and songwriter on such Top 40 singles as “Takin’ It To The Streets,” “It Keeps You Runnin’,” “Minute By Minute” and “What A Fool Believes.”
His distinct vocal style also made him one of the world’s most sought-after session singers. Beyond his hits with The Doobies, McDonald has lent his voice to records by an A-Z of artists, including Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Elton John, Joni Mitchell and Vince Gill. During the ‘80s and ‘90s, his solo career zoomed from success to success on the wings of evergreen hits like “I Keep Forgettin’,” “On My Own” (a duet with Patti LaBelle) and the Grammy-winning duet with James Ingram “Yah Mo B There.” Continuing to explore new vistas, in 2003 and 2004, McDonald released his Grammy-nominated, platinum-selling pair of Motown albums. Then in 2005, he partnered with Hallmark for a special Christmas album, Through The Many Winters, which sold 500,000 copies in its first two weeks.
With a career that encompasses five Grammys, numerous chart successes, personal and professional accolades, as well as collaborations with some of the world’s most prominent artists, Michael McDonald remains an enduring force in popular music.
Hazel Miller Band
Hazel Miller is not just a great singer, "she is a force of nature!" quotes the Rocky Mountain News. Her voice has been called "stunning, moving and powerful." Hazel has been a sought after performer in Colorado for the past 24 years. Whether she is singing blues, jazz, pop, or Gospel, her voice charges the songs with a primal dose of genuine soul.
Hazel began her 38-year career in Louisville, Kentucky, where she rose to the top of the music scene. She opened for popular artists such as Mel Torme, James Brown, Temptations, Earl Klugh, Bob James and many others.
The city of Denver singled out Hazel as one of 150 people who make Denver a better place to live. This award was bestowed by the mayor on Nov 22, 2008, at the Colorado History Museum. She has been given several awards for artistic excellence: Best Independent Blues-R&B Recording- 2002; Outstanding Performer at Red Rocks Amphitheater.
Hazel's new CD, ICONS, is now available.