One fateful day, at age 7, Michael and his mom walked by a band playing in an open garage in his neighborhood on Long Island and he heard live music for the first time. The impression left Michael immediately wanting to play the drums. His parents soon bought his first drum set and he starting taking lessons. This began his life long journey into the world of music. He was already singing in church by this time. Piano lessons soon followed and rounded things off. He began putting little ideas and pieces of music together as a start to composing original music.
Michael started teaching drums locally at age 12 and began playing professionally at age 15. At age 17 he played percussion in Long Island’s “Opera On The Sound Company” and drummed in various rock, jazz and theater groups. By senior year in high school Michael won twelve top medals at the annual NYSSMA (New York State Solo Music Association) juried drum competition. He was also chosen for three years in a row to be a member of the All State Orchestra composed of top players from New York.
Songwriting became a way to express the inexpressible, scaling hidden inner walls that accessed normally “out of reach” realms. Michael’s love of the songwriting process, (creating individual narratives and emotions) allowed for different characters to be played out while singing. The deeper in touch with the emotional story of the lyrics, the stronger the connection would be. Equally gifted as a vocalist, drummer, percussionist, keyboardist and recording engineer; his deep knowledge of rhythm wound up helping his singing and piano playing. They all connect with each other. Serving the song is paramount whether the inspiration comes from a rhythm, melody or series of chords.
Michael creates compelling song topics with an earthy voice reminiscent of Leonard Cohen and Roger Waters. Michael has worked with many top contemporary artists both live and in the studio. His early influences of rock, jazz and world music led him to New York City from his native Long Island to pursue his musical path. Inspiration came in many forms; The Beatles, Yes, Peter Gabriel, Miles Davis, Joni Mitchell, John Coltrane, and Salief Keita. He distills an inventive rhythmic and melodic sensibility into songs that are both thought provoking and listenable. Billboard Magazine has recognized his songs “Scorched” and “Baghdad.” Janice Pendarvis (Sting, Rolling Stones, James Taylor) sang the beautiful backing vocals on “Scorched.”
Michael toured the East Coast with alternative rock band Desperate Measures, composed of Robert Fripp’s (King Crimson) guitar craft alumni, Curt Golden on guitar, and Victor McSurley on the Chapman Stick. He was also an original member of the Trey Gunn Group.
Michael has performed on several major label releases including Stanley Jordan’s release “Bolero” for Arista Records. He has shared the stage with David Bowie guitarist Carlos Alomar, poet Coleman Barks, internationally acclaimed Indian slide guitarist Debashish Bhattacharya and tabla virtuoso Subasis Bhattacharya, blues and R&B great Jimmy Norman (who co-wrote the Rolling Stones classic “Time Is On Your Side.”) He was principal songwriter and lead vocalist for the independent release “Blue Halo Effect” with David Biglin (Art Garfunkel, Steve Howe.) He also performed at the Dance Theater Workshop in NYC with famed modern dance companies Ralph Lemon and David Dorfman. Additionally, he has scored music for 20th Century Fox’s “The X- Files” and Steven King’s feature film “Maximum Overdrive.” Most recently his works aired on Fox Sports channel, TNT and Lifetime cable channels. Last year he was asked to drum on Emmy Award winning composer Michael Whalen’s holiday CD titled “Seasons of Light” featuring drummer Vinnie Colaiuta, bassist Tony Levin, Toni Childs and Paul Buchanan. Recently, Michael drummed and engineered the soundtrack for the feature film “Sweet Lorraine” starring academy award winning actress Tatum O’Neal, and Steven Bauer (Scarface.)
Michael loves artifact, fossil, crystal collecting, biking, fishing and many more things outdoors that balance the hours spent in the studio and on the stage.
Michael D’Agostino moves seamlessly between drummer, songwriter, vocalist, keyboard player and recording engineer.
- Primary songwriter, lead vocalist and drummer on “Blue Halo Effect,” a seven song release in collaboration with David Biglin (Art Garfunkel, Steve Howe.) Performed in and around NYC including several shows for ASCAP.
- Original songs “Scorched” and “Baghdad” received honorable mention from the 2009 Billboard World Song Contest.
- Formed the free-improvisational quartet INNERrOUTe. Credited with drumming, engineering, mixing and mastering the bands self-titled first release and the groups 2nd, “Fourmation” on Planet Arts Records.
- Drummer for ambient overdrive group King Chubby with former Pat Metheny bassist Mark Egan. Signed to Caliente Records/Universal Music Group. Their release “IS” hit the Top 10 on many CMJ charts across the US.
- Drummer for NYC based rock trio “Desperate Measures,” with Curt Golden on guitar and Victor McSurely on Chapman stick, both members of Robert Fripp’s (King Crimson) “League of Crafty Guitarists.”
- Drummer for Trey Gunn’s (King Crimson, John Paul Jones) re-release of “The Third Star.”
- Worked with Vernon Reid, William Gallison, Stanley Jordan, Wendy Starland, The Winter Olympic Orchestra, George Clinton, Jimmy Norman, Gabrielle Roth, Debashish Bhattacharya, Subhasis Bhattacharya, Sean Harkness, Coleman Barks, Carlos Alomar, Robert Dick, Mitch Stein, Harvie S., The Dance Companies of David Dorfman and Ralph Lemon amongst others.
- The solo release “Future Reflections” is available on iTunes, CD Baby, and Rhapsody.
- Drummer and engineer for the Indie feature film “Sweet Lorraine” starring Academy Award winning actress Tatum O’Neal, and Steven Bauer (Scarface.)
- Compositions can be heard on The Lifetime Channel, BET, BET on Jazz, CNN, 20th Century Fox’s The X-Files, Fox Sports, The Outdoor Channel and in Film and TV throughout Europe, Africa, Canada and Australia.
- Engineer for Liberty DeVitto (Billy Joel,) Devon Allman, John Ginty, Jimmy Norman, Miki Howard and many more.
- Programmed drum sounds for Herbie Hancock, Yoko Ono, Kiss, Third World, Ronald Shannon Jackson, and Kenwood Dennard.
- Studied drums with Gary Chaffee, Jamey Haddad (Paul Simon,) Mike Longo (Dizzy Gillespie,) Jim Petercsak (SUNY Potsdam) and Red Snyder (Les Brown,) voice with Janice Pendarvis (Sting, Mick Jagger,) and Marimba with Leigh Howard Stevens.
- Endorses Sabian Cymbals, Vic Firth Drumsticks and Presonus Electronics.