Michael Raitzyk Jazz Guitar

Michael Raitzyk Jazz Guitar

“When I was six years old, someone bought my father a guitar. He was kind enough to let me start playing around with it. It was magical!” This is how jazz guitarist Michael Raitzyk got his start. By the time he reached high school he knew a lot. His time spent at the Thomas Jefferson Performing Arts High School in Portland, Oregon solidified his decision to pursue a career in music.

After a stint at Mt. Hood College, Michael moved back to his hometown of Baltimore, Maryland, where he immediately met pianist Rashid Yahya , a protégé of McCoy Tyner. Mr. Yahya taught Michael the finer points of improvisation and ensemble playing as well as giving him the opportunity to perform with jazz greats Bill Hardman, Junior Cook and Pepper Adams.

Through the late 80’s & 90’s, Michael was involved in many music projects, both as a sideman and as a leader. Some highlights include his exploration of Klezmer music, resulting in a Top Ten CD Pick (Baltimore City Paper) from his debut recording, Charm City Klezmer. This CD led to gigs at the now defunct NYC club: Tonic.

Michael has recorded four CD’s as a leader and seven as a sideman and has worked with almost everyone in the Baltimore jazz scene. His latest CD, Michael Raitzyk’s Organic Trio, explores the organ trio format, a long-time Baltimore tradition. Organ player Greg Hatza (has worked with Sonny Stitt, Eric Gale, Dave Liebman) and drummer Mike Kuhl (has worked with Gary Thomas, Claudio Roditi, Michael Formanek) make a fantastic rhythm section for guitarist Michael Raitzyk to create with. As the Baltimore Jazz Alliance’s September CD review says, “Raitzyk is no stranger to the Baltimore Jazz scene….his diverse musical background on guitar shines through on this recording…” and “ …a very relaxed presentation of three master musicians playing a club date.”
CD Release Party 1
CD Release Party 2

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