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Michael Soloway

Michael Soloway was born in Winnipeg, Canada where studied classical piano. His mother was a professional classical pianist with a passion for Broadway music and the American Songbook. As a teenager he began bringing that music to the piano. In Canada, he studied Jazz piano with Bob Erlandson and  jazz guitarist Lennie Breau, playing in a trio with bassist Ron Halldorson and drummer Reg Kelln.

Michael’s father was a dentist, and following that lead, he graduated from Dental School in 1973. Unable to ignore the music, 4 years later, he left Canada and attended Berklee School of Music. There he founded the jazz fusion group Orpheus, played electronic ‘keyboards”; touring Canada and the USA and recorded several albums for Polygram records. Ultimately settling in New York City, in mid-life he focused mainly on his dental career practicing and living in Manhattan becoming a renowned cosmetic dentist, teaching his original techniques and methods all over the world.

At the same time, he was enjoying the city, and playing jazz and cabaret piano. He was the musical director and accompanist for Lesley Corne, playing all the New York cabaret venues, but for twenty years, his dental career was predominant.

Towards the latter part of his career, at the recommendation of a professional accordionist, he bought an acoustic accordion and studied initially with Gene DeBellis in New Jersey. Alex Chudolij introduced him to renowned jazz great Eddie Monteiro where he experienced an entirely unique approach to the instrument and to music, and learned with Peter Soave at his Music Academy in Italy. Having been a “keyboard” player, he was drawn to the digital world with all new possibilities. Joe Natoli, his most profound and leading influence, through a number of years of intensive work, drew him deeply into programming the orchestrations that he was hearing. Michael worked with the Roland V-accordions, centering currently on the FR-4X. Now retired, he is continuing to play, perform and teach in his own right. He opens the Queens World Film Festival annually, and through this has developed a passion for orchestrated film scores in his performances.

As their friendship evolved and, as Joe Natoli’s student, Michael joined him in co-founding and co-directing IDEAS.