Perhaps best known for his relationship with David Bowie, Mike made his mark on numerous Bowie albums, including his much talked about masterly solo on the Aladdin Sane track. Garson was Bowie’s longest and most frequent band member. They performed together for both David’s first and last concerts in the United States as well as 1,000 concerts around the globe in between.
Mike’s unique talent, creativity and solid industry-wide reputation has ensured that he remains in high demand with musicians as diverse as The Smashing Pumpkins, No Doubt, Seal and Trent Reznor who featured Mike on several tracks of Nine Inch Nails’ “The Fragile” album and on the Grammy nominated score for the hit film Gone Girl on which they collaborated in addition to the score from the hit HBO“Watchmen” series. Mike and Billy Corgan collaborated, co-composing the score of the film Stigmata, including the haunting hit “Identify,” performed by Natalie Imbruglia. It is this same unmatched prowess that led him to be cast to play the piano as Liberace in his biopic film.
Mike studied classical composition with Leonard Eisner of Juilliard and earned degrees in Music and Education from Brooklyn College. He also studied with Bill Evans, Herbie Hancock, Hal Overton, Robert Starer and Lennie Tristano. He has played with other jazz giants including Stan Getz, Stanley Clarke, Freddie Hubbard, Elvin Jones, Dave Liebman, Lee Konitz and Joe La Barbara.
Mike is also a member of Free Flight, a cutting-edge jazz and classical ensemble, who have performed at the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Lincoln Center and four times on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Garson recently premiered a new commissioned work, a set of movements of original music compositions, titled “Symphonic Healing Suite” written in collaboration with medical patients which was subsequently performed by the National Symphony.
Mike has headlined his concert production “A Bowie Celebration” touring the world with fellow alumni of David Bowie’s bands and world class vocalists since the passing of David Bowie. Garson is also the subject of the international bestselling biography of his life, “Bowie’s Piano Man – The Life of Mike Garson”
Garson is as comfortable in jazz, classical, pop and the rock arena and is considered one of the world’s best improvisers who has also composed over 5,000 pieces of music – half classical and the rest a mixture of every other imaginable style. Mike continues to be called into duty as the secret weapon behind Billboard topping, Grammy lauded albums, tours and longstanding artist success.