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Michael Shapiro
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Artist Biography

Everything you need to know in one spot.

  • Band/Affiliation: Sergio Mendes/Independent
  • Country: United States

Michael Shapiro has enjoyed a successful thirty-year career as a drummer, percussionist, producer and educator. A self-taught musician from Washington D.C., Shapiro has performed with many legendary artists spanning multiple genres including his signature Brazilian style of drumming.

His professional career began with Airto Moreira and Flora Purim in 1986. Within the next two years, they toured the world and recorded several albums. In 1988 he met Sergio Mendes. This started a long musical friendship that continues today. They have toured and recorded many albums together including 1993’s Grammy-winning “Brasileiro”, 2006’s Latin Grammy-winning “Timeless” and 2010’s Latin Grammy-winning “Bom Tempo”. While working with Airto and Sergio, his reputation grew among the most important Brazilian musicians in the world. He has played and recorded with Dori Caymmi, Milton Nascimento, Oscar Castro-Neves, Caetano Veloso, Ivan Lins, Toninho Horta, Nana Caymmi, and Eliane Elias.

In 1994 and 1995 he toured with these artists as part of the “Brazil Project” featuring Toots Theilemans and “Tribute to Jobim”, featuring Sting. He also recorded John Patitucci’s Mistura Fina album, featuring Joao Bosco, Ivan Lins and Dori Caymmi.  In 1997 he toured the U.S. and Europe with singer Al Jarreau. He did drum clinics throughout Europe and played with guitarist Andy Summers of The Police.

In 2000, he worked with Bobby Caldwell and his big band. He also met Earth, Wind and Fire guitarist Al McKay. For 5 years, he played with Al as part of the Al McKay All-Stars.

In 2004, through his association with Sergio Mendes, Mike began working with producer and member of The Black Eyed Peas, will.i.am. To present, Mike has worked with will as a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter on Macy Gray’s “Big” c.d., Justin Timberlake’s “Future Sex, Love Sounds” c.d. plus tracks from soundtracks for “Freedom Writers”, “Shrek The 3rd” featuring Fergie and CBS’s Movies Rock. As well, Mike has worked on new projects with Nicole Scherzinger of the Pussycat Dolls, Fergie, a video featuring an Al Gore speech called "Take Our Planet Back" and a remix of The Who's "My Generation" featuring Slash.

In 2006, he toured with Natalie Cole, playing music from her vast book of standards.

To date, Mike is doing a project with the legendary Herb Alpert and wife, singer, Lani Hall. They toured the country in 2008/2009 and recorded a live c.d. titled "Anything Goes" in August 2009. A track from the album; "Beseme Mucho" was nominated for a Grammy in the "Best Pop Instrumental" field. A new album entitled "I Feel You" is due out in early 2011. He also continues to record and tour with Sergio Mendes. They will be touring the world this year in support of Sergio’s new album, “Bom Tempo". As well, Mike worked with Sergio and John Powell on the upcoming Fox animated movie, Rio, which is set for release on April 15th.

Mike as also recorded and toured with Frank Gambale, Yellowjackets, Kevyn Lettau, Brian Bromberg, Bill Cantos, Arnold McCuller, Armando Manzanero, Sadao Watanabe, Bud Shank, Charlie Byrd, Laurindo Almeida, Jane Monheit, Maureen McGovern, Michael Ruff, Ettore Strada, Jorge Calandrelli, Jupiter Rising, Debby Boone, Kuni Murai, Randy Travis, Derek Sherinian, Lorraine Feather, Ricardo Silveira, Pat Kelly, Yutaka, Kleber Jorge, Christopher Cross, and many more.

In addition to his professional career Mike began teaching in 1996 for the L.A. Music Academy. Through his tenure he also served as the company’s Vice President, Director of Education and Dean of Students until 2007. Within the last year Mike has devoted his time teaching underserved youth with such organizations as The Unusual Suspects Theatre company and Los Angeles Central High School #9.

Serving the underserved is an important mission in Mike’s life. He is also heavily involved with Union Station Homeless Services where he has produced their “Evening for The Station” fundraiser for the last ten years. Mike's efforts helped to raise over $1,000,000.

A new venture for Mike is composing original music for theatre productions in Los Angeles. He has served as musical director and composer for two productions for Chalk Repertory Theatre.

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