Like my good friend Mark Turnbull once said "When I was 6, I got a ukelele". It may have been a little later for me, but not much. Born into a showbiz family, (Dad was a trained light opera singer and M.C. of the popular T.V. game show "What's the name of that song"), by the age of 15 I was playing guitar, writing songs and played my first paying gig with Dave Myers & the Surftones. I've been playing professionally ever since.
During the 1970's I toured the west coast in a converted school bus with the seminal folk-rock band Gabriel Gladstar. After doing the Hollywood record deal search, and turning down a contract offer from Atlantic/Warner Bros. executive, Ahmet Ertegun, we left our home in Laguna Beach and hit the proverbial road playing coffee houses, colleges, concerts, clubs and along the way recording a succesful indy vinyl album,"A Garden Song", now featured in several indy-audiophile collections in the USA and Europe.
After Gladstar went their seperate ways, I collaberated with and married a talented dancer/saxophonist/flautist, Megan Bierman to form the Michael & Megan Bebop Duo. We performed in the USA and Europe produced three beautiful children (all talented musicians) and performed on the same stage at the Telluride Jazz Festival with Sarah Vaughn, Dizzy Gillespie, The Jazz Crusaders and others. We had a band; The Ophir Band with fellow musicians Sharky Cornell and Paul Machado and played throughout Western Colorado for several years.
In the 80's I returned with family to the San Francisco Bay Area where Michael & Megan continued to perform, write, record and collaborate with jazz greats such as Richie Cole, Donald "Duck" Baker, Bruce Forman, Bobby McFerrin and others, producing children's musical performances and teaching at music and art camps in San Francisco, New Hampshire & Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia.
After an ammicable divorce in the early 90's my journey took me back to Laguna beach where I fell in love and married "Patty" my best friend and life partner. I continued my solo career and formed another band "The Local Heroes", recording several CD's "live at the Sawdust Festival, with Tom Rizzo, bass and Dave Pinkerton, drums. It was during this time that I collaborated on a second Gladstar CD with Phil Morgan, songwriter, guitarist and recording engineer and talented multi-insturmentalist, Jim Zeiger. That effort entitled Gwinn-Morgan, is still available in re-issue. I also recorded a solo effort album, "The Fall", available on CD Baby. One of the highlights of my time in Laguna Beach was frequent outings with the great musical wizard Mark Turnbull.
In 2003 Patty and I relocated to the Rockies in Paonia, Colorado where I continue my musical journey with my current band "Mike Gwinn & the Northfork Flyers". I collaborate from time to time with talented guitarist dave sheppard, who is featured on the flying home CD on yardbird suite, and to quote the Grateful Dead..."What a long strange trip it's been."