Michael is originally from Batavia, but has made the Buffalo area his home for a number of years now. As a guitar player, he has flourished in the r&b/funk scene. He is a major player in the Buffalo music scene, and is instrumental over the last 15 years or so in helping elevate the Buffalo r&b community from the east side to being embraced by mainstream Buffalo and beyond. He helped break barriers through music.
His longtime show Neo Soul Tuesdays with his group Verse ran for a number of years first on Hertel Avenue at Canvas, then later at DBGB in Allentown. The show featured many young musicians and vocalists who would go on to do some pretty great things themselves, and all around the world even. People like Zuri Appleby, Drea D’Nur, Miles Tucker, D’Ray Jackson, Rod Bonner, Toney Rhodes, Daniel Powell, RiShon Odell, Vinnie DeRosa, even veteran performers like Nikki Hicks, Rodney Appleby, the list goes on and on. So many great players have shared the stage with Michael.
The past few years, you could find Michael doing his acoustic act in all of the coolest venues throughout WNY. He is beloved by all, and is the definition of the term ‘cat’, by virtue of his signature sound, and the coolness exhibited when he walks into a room with his guitar.
Now comes the serious task of taking care of one of our own. I know personally the struggle of a long road back when your body reaches a breaking point. I also know how the love and generosity from our loved ones fuels the spirit in ways medicine never will. Michael was there for me, even performed at my benefit event when I needed it, and right now Michael needs us. I will be there for my brother.
Over the weekend once the news broke, there were several acts of kindness and generosity all around town as several other ‘cats’ put out tip jars at their gigs, with all proceeds going directly to Michael.
This Wednesday, July 31 there will be an open mic held at Penny Lane Cafe in Clarence, also with tip jars for Mike. Please consider attending. Also, be sure to hit up the GoFundMe page that has been established to help Mike in his recovery process.