Mike Catalano-Pianist/Composer CATMAN RECORDS INC. NYC
Mike was born in New York the son of an Australian war bride Lola Catalano and a NYPD police Chief Ferdinand Catalano. At age 7 he began studying classical piano. He's had notierity worldwide as a composer and recording artist between his composing/scoring for Fox television , and his newest contemporary jazz CDs "A Manhattan Affair" " released worldwide to critical acclaim. Mike Catalano's music recently made it's live stage dramatic theatre debut in the Los Angeles Production of the play "Brooklyn USA".
After studying privately for more than 10 years, Mike began studied at The Five Towns College of Music. At college Mike studied theory and composition, listening to, and analyzing the music of composers like Gershwin, Cole Porter, Bill Evans and Antonio Carlos Jobim. Mike began writing his own music, and seeking out some of New York City's top Session musicians, for his early recordings, his first step was Dean Bailin, who had come to fame from the Rupert Holmes (Escape/ The Pina Colada song), as a top rated session guitarist, and Bailin productions experience, combined with Mike's writing, inspired Mike to recruit more musicians and begin making instrumental Jazz recordings, among them as Lou "Blue Lou" Marini, whom Mike had always been a fan of, from Lou's SNL and Blue's Brothers days, Mike met Lou at a Dr. John gig in the old Lone Star Cafe in NYC and invited him to do a recording session on some of Mike's new material which was a combination of Jazz, R&B, and even some Jobim influenced Boss Nova style music. One of Marini's old bandmates from his Blood Sweat and Tears days Rob Mclure, was invited to play bass, along with Marini, Mike, Dean Bailin and drummer Richard Crooks.
Jobim’s music had a profound influence on Mike, eventually Mike decided to travel to Brazil to record his own music in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the "Land of Jobim" . Mike sought out the local studio musicians in Rio, and happenned to meet two of the finest Nico Assumpcao (Bass) and Ricardo Silveira (guitarist). Mike explained to them his idea of combining the session guys from NYC with the guys from Rio would make a nice record. They took Mike under their wing in Rio and introduced him to all the top musicians in Rio and Mike began flying back and forth from New York to Rio de Janero. It was a fine array of talent rounded up step by step for this record to support Mike's piano and original music, Dean Bailin, Lou Marini, Alan (Mr. Fabulous) Rubin, Randy Brecker, Cornell Dupree,Mark Egan, Steve Gadd, and combining them with the Brazilians, Nico Assumpcao, Ricardo Silveira, Toninho Horta, Armando Marcal (father and son), Carlos Bala, Andre Tandetta, Cafe.The result was his debut album, "A Rio Affair" released on Polygram in Brazil. From New York funky groove tunes like "Groovin Along" to more boss-esque tunes like "The Reality" it was quite a well received album, and got alot of airplay in Brazil and Japan.
Mike always had a fascination with movie music, and tv theme music wrote some local cable tv themes and jingles right after college. Now in New York with A Rio Affair in his pocket,Mike met veteran Reporter Steve Dunleavy who had just started the Fox Television show A CURRENT AFFAIR (ACA) with Maury Povich. Dunleavy, had also been a huge Antonio Carlos Jobim fan and was explaining to Mike how they were having so much trouble getting rights to various songs for their new tv show, he invited Mike to submit some of his material for some of the stories on A Current Affair, and soon after Mike began scoring the music for A Current Affair on an almost daily basis. Soon every major story that put that show on the map, (ACA was quite a phenomenon) was having Mike's music for underscore in a huge variety of styles of the major new stories of the day including the infmaous "Preppy Murder" story by reporters Raphael Abramovitz and Steve Dunleavy in a time when that show became the first and the #1 tabloid show with Maury Povich at the helm. Mike also gained well deserved recognition as a composer by composing hundreds of pieces of theme and/or underscore music for Fox Television's hit shows,"A Current Affair","The Reporters" (weekly theme and underscore music), "Good Day New York","Fox News," and "Carol Jenkins Live" for New York Emmy winning newswoman Carol Jenkins talk show, as well as other shows and promotions for Fox.
In the mid 90's Mike started the Mike Catalano Group, with his New York contigentcy, Dean Bailin, Chris Parker, Mark Egan, and Lou Marini as the core band, and a variety of others stepping up to the plate such as Lew Soloff, Alex Foster, Tom Barney, and Donald Harrison and Toninho Horta appeared with the band from time to time. It was in this period that Drummer Chris Parker introduced Mike to bassist Will Lee, who subsequently co-produced Mike's newest Cd, A Manhattan Affair. His debut show for A Manhattan Affair featured a stellar lineup of joining Pianist Mike Catalano were Will Lee, Tom Scott, Rob Mounsey, Chuck Loeb, Omar Hakim, Lew Soloff Bashiri Johnson. It was the Manhattan Affair Jazz Fest!
In addition to Catalano's composing scores, and career as a solo artist, Mike served as executive producer with Will Lee for the Ivan Lins project of Brazilian singer Jane Duboc's Sweet Lady Jane, band+ orchestra conducted and arranged by Rob Mounsey.
Most recently Mike Catalano's music set the stage for the Los Angeles play revival of Brooklyn USA, directed by veteran TJ Castronovo
Mike continues writing music for film and TV for Mike Catalano Music's various client base.
Mike Catalano is a member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.