Michael Soloway was born in Winnipeg, Canada where he grew up and studied classical piano starting at 6 years of age. His mother was a professional classical pianist with a passion for Broadway music and the American Songbook in which she immersed both Michael and his brother. As a teenager he began experimenting with that music on the piano. In Canada he studied Jazz piano with Bob Erlandson and accomplished 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, Michael graduated from Dental School in Canada in 1973. Unable to ignore the music, 4 years later he left Canada and attended Berklee School of Music in Boston, Ma. There he founded the jazz fusion group Orpheus, played electronic ‘keyboards”, toured Canada and the USA and recorded several albums for Polygram records. He ultimately settled in New York City and in mid-life focused mainly on his dental career practicing and living in Manhattan. He became 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 including the Townes Theatre. But for well over twenty years his dental career was predominant.
Towards the latter part of his career, at the recommendation of a friend, a professional accordionist, he bought his first 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. However, having been a “keyboard” player he was drawn to the Roland world and began exploring all the 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 FR-4X, FR-7X and an FR-8X Vaccordions, centering currently on the FR-4X. Now retired, he is just beginning 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, when Joe conceived of the concept of a dedicated digital accordion community and everything that that could mean, Michael joined him in co-founding and co-directing IDEAS.