Our Story

My name is Mike Muschell, I've been a drummer for many years and have played a wide variety of music in that time including; rock, R&B, blues, country and jazz. Jazz has been my main focus and love for the past 35 years, I've done freelance work throughout Connecticut, where I'm originally from and in the San Francisco bay area where I currently live.

I grew up in a small town in northwestern Connecticut called Torrington. My father loved music, especially jazz: Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Benny Goodman, Artie  Shaw and the Dorsey brothers were particular favorites of his. My mom loved Johnny Cash, so I guess that's where I got my eclectic taste in music. As a teenager I was into rock, naturally, my favorite bands being Cream, Jimi Hendrix and the Allman Brothers. What appealed to me most with these groups was the extended improvisations and virtuosic musicianship. It seems only natural that I'd soon gravitate to jazz which shares these same attributes. In high school I became aware of John Coltrane and Miles Davis. Once I heard Elvin Jones and Tony Williams the deal was sealed and there was no turning back on the road to jazz perdition. Eventually I discovered other great drummers, most notably Billy Higgins, who remains a favorite to this day, as well as others too numerous to mention. All of these artists provided the bench mark for musical/artistic integrity and profound humanity.

Over the years I've had the privledge and honor of studying with many great drummers, these include; Tony Tedesco, 1st call broadway/studio musician and member of John Pizzarelli quartet, Clifford Jarvis, played with Freddie Hubbard, Sun Ra, Archie Sheep, Bill Reynolds, Boston drummer and educator, Dr Royal Harrtigan, renowned jazz and world music master and the bay area great, Alan Hall. I studied jazz performance with Noah Bearman and Brazilian music with Marcos Silva. I've also studied and/or played in ensembles at the Hartford Conservatory, University of Connecticut, Wesleyan University, the Jazz School in Berkeley, UC Berkeley,and Chabot College.   Additionally I'd like to give a big shout out to two friends, mentors and musical inspirations, the bassists David Santoro and Mario Pavone. Dave is an old friend, he's worked with many of the greats in jazz, from Red Rodney to his long time collaborator Jerry Bergonzi and currently teaches at Berklee in Boston. Mario has been a stalwart of the new music scene for decades as both a musician and composer, Mario has worked with a who's who in new music including Paul Bley, Bill Dixon, Wadada Leo Smith and most notably Thomas Chapin.