Michael Herring Michael Herring

Michael Herring is a double-bassist and composer based in Toronto who writes, performs and records across genre lines, equally comfortable in jazz as in roots settings, including folk, world, and pop/rock.  Herring leads and co-leads a number of groups which focus on original music of which he is a major contributor:

Herring co-leads Peripheral Vision along with guitarist and long-time collaborator Don Scott; a modern-jazz quartet that brings out the synergy between their strong musical personalities and their complimentary writing styles. Peripheral Vision has maintained a busy touring schedule with the release of it’s third album Sheer Tyranny of Will

Michael Herring Quartet, a chordless two-saxophone band drawing inspiration from 1960’s jazz, especially Mingus and Ellington.

Michael Herring’s Vertigo, an original jazz sextet comprised of the strongest voices in the next generation of Canadian Jazz and New York’s David Binney on alto saxophone, has just released Dark Materials, a follow-up to Coniferous Revenge, which garnered critical acclaim, including being picked as one of the Top 5 Debut albums of 2006 by All About Jazz New York.

Herring’s compositions and bass playing can also be heard in the collectives Way North (New York/Toronto collaboration with Petr Cancua, Rebecca Hennessy and Richie Barshay), God’s Gift to Yoda (experimental indie jazz-rock), who released their debut full-length album This Album Is Not For People, and in Harrington and The Uplifters (Roots Nerd-Rock and New Orleans pop), where you can hear Herring’s lead and backing vocals and lyrics.

Herring has toured around recorded in North America, Europe, and Korea with his ensembles as well as sharing the stage with such great musicians as: David Binney, Bucky Pizzarelli, Bernie Senensky, Ab Baars (ICP/Amsterdam), Ken Vandermark, Jah Youssouf (Mali, Africa), Mansa Sissoko (Mali, Africa), David Braid, Kirk MacDonald, Dave Clark, P.J. Perry, Tannis Slimmon, Harry Manx, Lina Allemano, William Carn, Percy Sledge, Ernest Ranglin, and Brinsely Forde (Aswad).  Herring’s compositions and arrangements have been featured in the repertoires of many ensembles, including he wrote the soundtrack to the short film In Harms’s Way.

Herring grew up in Victoria, B.C., then moved to Toronto, where he studied with Canadian Jazz greats David Young and Don Thompson at the University of Toronto’s Jazz Performance Program. He has been invited to attend the Banff International Jazz Workshop twice (2000, 2003) and lived in New York (2004). He has also studied with Mark Helias, Drew Gress, Ben StreetDave Douglas, Kenny Werner, Joe Lovano, Joey Baron, Tony Malaby, Angelica Sanchez, Johannes Weidenmueller, James Genus, and Mark Turner, as well as with world-renowned bassists Rufus Reid and Ray Brown.  He was a recipient of a Chalmers Arts Fellowship (through the Ontario Arts Council) for an extended stay in New York City.

“Michael Herring has established himself as one of the most creative musicians on the Canadian scene” Joseph Blake – Times-Colonist

“[a] Toronto bassplayer with a penchant for contemporary grooves, colours and energy… cutting-edge but accessible sounds inspired by New York’s downtown jazz innovators” Doug Fischer – The Ottawa Citizen

“the boss’s bass soars and swoops and the overall impact is tremendous” Geoff Chapman –  Toronto Star