Dr. Michael Torregano
Pianist, Songwriter, Singer
Dr. Michael Torregano is a New Orleans-based Jazz pianist and educator who has been in love with music since he was a small child. He has earned three music degrees, including a doctorate in Music Education from Boston University, taught esteemed contemporary players like Nicholas Payton and Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews, and has worked with well-known artists Allen Toussaint, Dave Bartholomew, Donald Harrison, Victor Goines, Rita Coolidge, Lowell Fulsom, and George Benson. He performed with his brother Joseph Torregano's quartet for 30 years and has led his own group for the last 20 years. He is about to release his fifth CD as a leader, Morning Inspiration, in July of 2019.
A pianist since the age of four, Michael is still motivated by music every day of his life. “I always have a different song on my mind from the moment I wake up,” he says, “Sometimes it's something I know and sometimes it's a new song that I'll work on later in the day.” His style blends Jazz, Traditional New Orleans Jazz, and Smooth Jazz into original music with memorable melodies and feel-good grooves that make people happy.
Influenced by iconic artists including Oscar Peterson, George Benson, Earth, Wind & Fire, Al Jarreau, Miles Davis, Michael Jackson, John Coltrane, and The Spinners, Michael has created a unique, personal sound. He’s drawn comparisons to Teddy Wilson, Joe Sample, and Herbie Hancock but isn’t easily defined by such simple measures. Michael’s ambitions are bigger than that. “My goal is to make people feel good about themselves and their current situations through music,” he says, speaking his truth. Dr. Michael Torregano has the skills, training, and intention needed to make this happen and is one of the finest musicians on the New Orleans scene. Visit him online at http://www.mikeyjazz.com.
Press / Reviews
“Dr. Michael Torregano, Morning Inspiration (KWS/Concord)OCTOBER 30, 2019by: JOHN WIRTLEAVE A COMMENT Like so many New Orleans musicians, Dr. Michael Torregano covers the stylistic waterfront. His influences include Earth, Wind & Fire, The Spinners and Michael Jackson as well as Oscar Peterson, George Benson, Al Jarreau and Miles Davis. A pianist, composer and singer adept at traditional jazz and standards, Torregano sweetens Morning Inspiration, his fifth album, with pop and rhythm-and-blues. Besides playing piano, electric keyboards, kalimba and singing, Torregano composed, produced, engineered and mixed Morning Inspiration. The title song sets the album’s feel-good tone with melodic pop-jazz and a smooth-jazz groove. Torregano and Alex Geddes—the saxophonist who performs regularly with Torregano—ably fill the album’s dominant soloist roles. A multi-instrumentalist, Geddes moves to flute for “Live Wires,” an instrument well-suited for this Latin-tinged piece propelled by bassist Wilbur Thompson and drummer Chris Guccione. Another Latin-accented piece, “Mojitos After Dark,” incorporates Afro-Cuban rhythms, Ashlin Parker’s trumpet, Geddes’ sax and Mike Loupe’s well-cast guitar. The punchy, sassy horn parts Geddes and Parker play in “The Groove” almost make big-band impact. A pop-R&B-jazz piece, “The Groove,” showcases Torregano’s composing chops and his electric keyboard playing, heard in call-and-response with Geddes’ sax. The versatile Torregano moves to a mellow atmosphere for the ballad “Midnight Creep” and mystical ambiance for the album’s most vocal-laden track, “Ancestor’s Call.” These contrasting pieces and Morning Inspiration in total reveal Torregano’s versatility, bright musical personality and abundance of inspiration. —John Wirt ” - John Wirt
— Off Beat Magazine
Press review #1
“Keeping things consistently interesting is something this album has easily achieved. Midnight Creep is a definite highlight in that respect, it stands out for its cooler, late-night vibe, the spacious nature of the arrangement, and the subtle swagger with which the melody appears. Then you get the quicker pace and salsa-like movement and groove of Mojitos After Dark to further that late-night aura with a little energy and motivation. Retro tones shine well through vintage keys on Saturday Night Sexy. Then another classic groove emerges, complete with a rise and fall sentiment that’s quickly hypnotic. Cruisin afterwards smooths things out for an again perfectly titled piece that seems well suited to a short drive or journey without time restrictions. There’s a lightness to the notes, the octave chosen here, and it works well at this late stage. Blues For Plooky is another highlight, a big-band track with a gorgeously joyful bounce and melody to it – as memorable as the opener and a simple delight to turn up loud. Then the stylish bass leads the way once more for The Next Chapter, prompting you to consider the underlying intentions and artistic direction of the whole project. Again, this near-melancholic yet still optimistic and confident piece adds something cool to the collection. In The Zone rounds things up and sees the album finish in an energetic and engaging manner. A touch of vocals help create a sense of togetherness, and that melodic back and forth – that call and response – helps present familiarity and something that’s easy to like. The jazz hi-hats stand out well alongside the contrasting bass. A great way to finish and an album that’s absolutely on par, at the very least, with some of the best new jazz and blues instrumental releases out there. Dr. Michael Torregano is undeniably one to look out for.” - Rebecca Cullen
— Stereo Stickman
Press review #2
“Michael Torregano reaches deep into the American songbook, a favorite source of material for the New Orleans pianist. Folks with similar musical tastes are sure to know every tune and probably all the lyrics on For Your Ears Only. On this outing, Torregano also reminds us of his talents as a singer, or more accurately a jazz vocalist. He only sang one tune on 2015’s release, Doctor Jazz, though here he ups the ante and adds vocals to four tunes, including an interestingly arranged and delivered chestnut, “When My Dreamboat Comes Home.” It opens with the drums of Chris Guccione and the bass of Wilbur Thompson, who alternates on cuts with bassist Al Bernard, the only musician in the group who was also featured on Torregano’s previous album. “I think I’ll play my piano now,” says Torregano, who takes a long, rather funky solo complete with piano trills. Jamil Sharif’s trumpet takes it out struttin’. The band is in its more typical swinging mode on another classic, “Almost Like Being in Love,” on which Torregano again reaches for the microphone. New Orleans steps in to take over on Thomas Henry Delaney’s 1921 tune, “Jazz Me Blues,” which has been recorded by a number of ensembles including the Original Dixieland Jazz Band. Sharif’s trumpet is the star of the show on this one. Torregano’s only solo piano piece is a wistful version of “Over the Rainbow” that he emotionally presents. For Your Ears Only, which ends with the lively “I Want to Be Happy,” should suit those who enjoy a sentimental journey down memory lane.” - Geraldine Wycoff
— Off Beat Magazine
Press review #3
“ Dr. Michael Torregano, Doctor Jazz (MikeyJazz Music)FEBRUARY 26, 2015by: GERALDINE WYCKOFFLEAVE A COMMENT 94 If the name Dr. Michael Torregano sounds familiar, it should. The New Orleans born multi-instrumentalist has been working and teaching for decades in his hometown and beyond. For over 30 years, he has been playing piano with his brother, clarinetist Joseph Torregano. On Doctor Jazz, his second outing as leader, he applies his talents as a pianist in solo, trio and quartet settings. His band includes locals clarinetist and saxophonist Louis Ford, bassist Al Bernard, and drummer Sullivan Dabney. The album, which is full of classic material from Crescent City composers such as the great King Oliver and Jelly Roll Morton and others like Benny Goodman and Cole Porter, could best be described as pleasant to the ear. In other words, it is very musical. It hits you that way from the opening measures of the standard “I Could Write a Book.” The well-recorded tune swings gently with the trio heightened by some lovely piano flourishes provided by Torregano. Torregano’s minimalist, single note solo introduction to Charlie Chaplin’s “Smile” sets the tone for the emotional drama of the song. It is quite elegant. On Doctor Jazz, the pianist is at his best in the world of ballads and romance as heard on “Old Folks.” He does show he can fly on Benny Goodman’s and Charlie Christian’s upbeat “7 Come 11” that features Louis Ford on clarinet. He’s also got it swinging on “Just One of Those Things.” That’s Torregano singing on this cut, the only tune that includes vocals. Doctor Jazz makes one want to hear more from the talented Michael Torregano on recordings and on the scene. ” - Geraldine Wycoff
— Off Beat Magazine
Press review #4