Clinician and Instructor
Mike Michalkow has been performing, recording and teaching drums and percussion for over 20 years. His storied career has him brushing shoulders with some of the most recognized performers in the industry.
Mike hails from Vancouver, BC Canada and would be considered by most as a late bloomer who didn't start playing the drums until he was 17. Under the direction of Mitch Dorge (Crash Test Dummies), Mike quickly achieved more than many of his counterparts and soon began his performance career.
Focusing early on hard rock, punk, blues and pop music, Mike soon discovered a whole new world listening to some of the great drummers of our time such as Neil Peart, Steve Gadd, Bill Bruford, Stewart Copeland, Alex Acuna, Dave Weckl, and Terry Bozzio. As a result, Mike's technique improved greatly and he began to see the potential of his talents. Mike reached a watershed of sorts when he heard his first Jack DeJohnette album and began to take drumming more seriously than ever before. He applied for and was accepted into Grant MacEwan College in Edmonton, Alberta where he majored in Latin and Jazz and graduated at the top of his class.
During the summer of 1993, Mike spent his time in New York City where he took private lessons on the drumset and conga at the "Drummers Collective". During the evenings he hung out at local jazz clubs where he could learn and see many of his favorite artists perform, such as: Marvin "Smitty" Smith, Max Roach , Tony Williams and many other greats.
After graduating from Music College in 1994, Mike relocated to Vancouver Canada to jump start his music career. After a few years playing in various original and cover bands, he decided he needed a change and in 1997 was hired by a popular Cruise Lines as the Orchestra Drummer.
After his gig with the cruise line, Mike returned home, eager to hone his craft even more. He began taking lessons from John Fisher, Jim Chapin, Chuck Silverman, Peter Magadini, Virgil Donati and Dom Famularo and soon realized that music wasn't only to be his career, but a way of life.
Mike’s passion for drums and percussion has earned him a name in the business and his summers consist of heading the drum department for the West Coast in the USA for the "National Guitar Workshop" which he has been doing since the year 2000.
As well as keeping a busy teaching and performance schedule, Mike spends many of his days and nights in the recording studio with song writers and bands with styles ranging from Progressive Rock, Latin, Jazz, Blues, Pop, Folk, Celtic, Country, Metal, and R&B.
While at home in Canada he records and performs with Symphony in Demeanor, John Cameron Entertainment, Meyer/Michalkow Duo, and The Brent Ellis Group, as well as various other freelance projects.
Symphony in Demeanors first album released in the fall of 2005 won “Best Album Award” for the IOMA Online music awards with over 15,000 votes on hand.
He has also performed at the "Vancouver International Drum Festival" in October 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 , 2005, 2006, 2007, & 2008 by invitation of Yamaha Drums and has shared the stage with drummers such as Dom Famularo, Chad Smith, John “JR” Robinson, Virgil Donati, Cindy Blackman, Kirk Covington, Robby Ameen, Matt Frenette and Mitch Dorge.
He currently plays and endorses Yamaha Drums, Paiste cymbals, Hi Shaker, Kick Port, Metrophones, Pro Mark drum sticks, Evans drumheads, Hansenfutz accessory pedals, LP Percussion and Cymbag cymbal protectors. He is also a clinician for Yamaha Drums on the full acoustic & electronic line.
In June of 2006, Mike’s first Instructional DVD “The Moeller Method Secrets” was released worldwide by Railroad Media.
Mike’s follow up to his first DVD were 2 huge training packs (DVD, Books and Play-along CD’s) by Railroad Media entitled “The Jazz Drumming System” and “The Latin Drumming System” which feature “Jody Fisher”–master guitarist, “Baba Elefante” on Bass, and “Tilden Webb” on Piano. In the fall of 2008 Mike completed his biggest DVD project to date: "The Drumming System"
Mike's Book "The Total Rock Drummer" won the 2010 Modern Drummer Readers Poll for Best Educational Book.
Mike’s goal as an outgoing performer and enthusiastic teacher is to excite and motivate people about drums and music. This has been proven time and time again in each performance Mike is involved with.
Mike’s famous Quote: “ALWAYS HAVE FUN !”