He began doing studio work professionally as a session guitarist in 1980, and has since done thousands of sessions in every style of music. Some were for artists such as Marie Osmond, The Osmond Brothers, John Schneider, Mr. T, and The Jets. Michael has played on several movie scores, including “Born to Be Wild,” “The Stand,” “Christmas in Connecticut,” “The Yearling,” and “Hart to Hart” among many others. Most of the studio work Michael does is for TV Networks, such as ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX, as well as cable networks such as CNBC, TNT, and the USA network. This work includes ABC Sports Main Theme, ABC College Football, ABC Monday Night Football, FOX Fall Campaigns, and also TV shows such as Good Morning America (ABC), The Today Show (NBC), The Oprah Winfrey Show and many more.
In 1993 Michael began composing and arranging for Non-Stop Productions. As a composer he has written many different themes and music for TV and radio use, including ABC College Basketball, ABC Auto Racing, ABC T.G.I.F. Promos, FOX “Under the Helmet” campaigns, ABC “It’s Your Favorite” promo, Good Morning America (ABC), The Today Show (NBC), CBS- “Say I” promos, and the KGO radio theme and music. He wrote the theme for “HARDBALL”, and “UPFRONT TONIGHT” on CNBC. He also wrote a new theme for CNN International as well as for CNN’s new FN network and promos for Crossfire and Larry King Live. Michael has also written music for national commercials such as Buick, Cadillac, and Chevrolet. He has also written music for movie trailers for Disney and Touchstone Pictures, Hollywood Pictures and Caravan Pictures such as “Finders Keepers,” “Cool Runnings,” “I Love Trouble,” “In the Army Now,” “The Three Musketeers,” “Holy Matrimony,” and “The Jerky Boys”. For Columbia and Paramount Pictures he has written the trailer music for “The Fan,” “Last Dance,” “Multiplicity,” “The Cable Guy,” “Red Corner,” “Metro,” and “Donnie Brasco.” For Dreamworks Pictures, he wrote the trailer for “Antz”.
Michael also wrote and recorded the Utah Jazz promo music “Rock with the Jazz” in 2003. It played in commercials as well as in the arena. Some of Michael’s work was also broadcast during the Olympics, as he was the composer on several promotional spots for the Salt Lake 2002 Olympics.
In 1989 Michael signed with Airus Records, and released the album “Touch” in 1990. The album did well on jazz oriented radio stations and went to #7 on the R & R charts. (R&R is a chart that tracks the number of times songs from an album are played on radio stations nationally). “Touch” also features performances by Jimmy Johnson (bass player for James Taylor) and Vinnie Colaiuta. Some songs from “Touch” such as “A Brighter Day” are still being played on contemporary jazz radio stations around the country today.
In 1991 Michael released another album, “From the Hip.” Many of the songs on this album were also “radio friendly” and the album cruised to number 15 on the R&R Charts and to number 9 on the Gavin Chart. (Gavin is another radio airplay chart).
Michael’s third jazz album, “Soulmate” on TrebleV Records, features world famous musicians, such as Simon Phillips, Dave Weckl, Alan Pasqua, Jimmy Johnson, and Brandon Fields. Released in September 2000, the album did well in radio play across the nation. One song from the album, ”…And The Moon,” won a 2001 Pearl Award for “Contemporary Instrumental Song Of The Year.” These albums are available on iTunes or at Michael’s website, michaeldowdle.com.
In 1984 Michael was contracted by Lex de Azevedo to record an album of fifty acoustic guitar hymns (“50 Favorite Hymns”). The album became a favorite of many thousands and is still in print today. Other albums followed in 1985 and 1986 such as “Hymns of Praise” and “Songs of Joy.” Both of these albums have been compiled into a 2 CD set and are also still in print today. In 1987 Michael recorded his first Christmas album called “A Sacred Christmas” (also still available). In 1995 Michael released his second pop Christmas album with Shadow Mountain Records called simply, “Christmas.”
In 2001 Michael signed on with Sounds of Zion to do a series of acoustic guitar albums for the LDS market. This series has five award-winning albums; “25 Beloved Hymns of Christ,” ”25 Beloved Hymns of the Restoration,” ”25 Beloved Hymns of Prayer and Faith,” ”25 Beloved Primary Songs” and “25 Beloved Carols of Christmas.”
Michael has won many Pearl Awards from FCMA (The Faith-Centered Music Association), a total of 13 to date:
• 2000 - Studio Musician of the Year
• 2001 - Contemporary Instrumental Recording (…And The Moon/Soulmate Treble V Records)
• 2002 - Sacred Album of the Year (God Be With You)
• 2003 - Sacred Classical Instrumental Recording of the Year (Jesus Once of Humble Birth)
• 2003 - Sacred/Inspirational Instrumental Album of the Year (25 Beloved Hymns of Christ)
• 2003 - Instrumental Recording Artist of the Year
• 2005 - Inspirational/Contemporary Instrumental Recording of the Year (The Handcart Song)
• 2005 - Sacred/Classical Instrumental Album of the Year (25 Beloved Hymns of Prayer and Faith) -2005 Instrumental Recording Artist of the Year
• 2005 - Arranger of the Year
• 2006 - Sacred/Classical Instrumental Recording of the Year (Love One Another)
• 2006 - Sacred/Classical Instrumental Album of the Year (25 Beloved Primary Songs)
• 2007 - Instrumental Recording Artist of the Year
In addition, Michael has also received the “Listeners Choice” award from the LDSBA (LDS Booksellers Association) in 2003 and again in 2007.
Michael also works as an arranger for other artists as well such as Michael McLean, Hillary Weeks, Cheri Call, Afterglow, Alex Boyé, and Jesse Clark Funk among many others.
Michael also worked with Digitech as a freelance consultant, Clinician, and Product Specialist for 15 years. He was instrumental in the development of many products including the GSP-21, RP-1, TSR-24, RP-10, and the 2101 Studio Tube Processor. His role as a consultant and preset writer gave him a “hands on” understanding of the product and it’s many applications. As a clinician he has traveled all over the world doing many hundreds of Clinics and Trade shows showing and teaching musicians everywhere how to maximize the potential of products from Digitech. When Johnson Amplifiers came onto the scene in the spring of 1997, Michael’s help was enlisted again in Preset writing and he was heavily consulted during the development phase of the amplifier.
In November 2000 Michael performed as a headlining artist with his band on the main stage at the Catalina Jazz Festival performing songs from his jazz albums. He has also performed his music with his band at Deer Valley, Thanksgiving Point, Abravanel Hall, the NAMM show in Los Angeles, The Baked Potato in Los Angeles and many other places including the Netherlands.
He has played on stage as a guitarist with many artists including Donny Osmond, Marie Osmond, the Osmond Brothers, Brian Wilson (the Beach Boys), The Coasters, Peter Noon, Kurt Bestor, Sam Cardon, John Schneider, David Hasselhoff, Will Lee and Anton Fig (The Dave Letterman Band), Michael McLean, Jericho Road, William Joseph, Cheri Call, Kenneth Cope, Lex de Azevedo, Julie de Azevedo, Afterglow, Hillary Weeks, Jesse Clark Funk, Jenny Frogley, Jenny Phillips, the Utah Symphony and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
Michael has also played in many other bands through the years such as Everett Lincoln, Magellan, London Bridge, etc. and is currently playing with the pop band “The Salamanders.” This band plays mostly for corporate parties (such as Delta Airlines, Usana, Grand America etc.), conventions and weddings etc.
In October of 2006 Michael began teaching at “The Music School” in American Fork, Utah. He enjoys working with students and faculty in a very innovative and dynamic environment there.
Edited by Sousaphonic on 8 Apr 2010, 16:22
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