MICHAEL MCGARRIL is a multi-instrumentalist based in Brooklyn, NY. He is an in-demand live performer, studio musician and bandleader. He has performed and recorded with a variety of musical artists including St. Lucia, Steve Aoki, Big Daddy Kane, and Xiomara Laugart. In addition to leading his own jazz quartet, Michael leads Boat Band, a bluesy trio of saxophone/organ/drums that regularly performs aboard a jazz cruise and elsewhere around New York. He can also be heard playing with Shag Horns, a high-energy six piece brass band.

Michael began playing saxophone at a young age in the Hudson Valley where he grew up. Thanks to great teachers and a robust school music program, he was given many opportunities in high school to perform in big bands and small combos. These included several appearances at the Belleayre Mountain Jazz Festival accompanying Jane Monheit (2002) and Peter Cincotti (2003) and opening for Herbie Hancock (2004) and Chick Corea (2005).

In 2004, Michael moved to New York City. He received a scholarship and attended the New School For Jazz, completing a B.F.A. in jazz performance. There, he sharpened his skills studying under Jim Snidero, Dave Glasser and Vincent Herring. Michael began composing and arranging at this time, as well as learning flute, clarinet and piano. Nearing the end of school, Michael joined drummer (and New School teacher at the time) Charli Persip’s big band Supersound for several years appearing on his last album, Intrinsic Evolution (2008).

After his time at the New School, Michael began working with songwriters and artists in multiple genres in addition to jazz, shaping him into a highly versatile player. This included a performance on national television with Steve Aoki, several east coast shows with indie-synth pop artist St. Lucia (also several recordings on their 2018 record Hyperion), and a tour with hip-hop legend Big Daddy Kane. He has performed at many venues through New York including Dizzy’s Club at Jazz At Lincoln Center, Terminal 5, Pier 17, Music Hall Of Williamsburg, Symphony Space, Rockwood Music Hall, the Iridium, and Smalls jazz club.

In 2010, Michael and his group Boat Band launched a musical residency aboard the yacht and sail boat fleet of Classic Harbor Line at Chelsea Piers. What started out as a weekly summer jazz cruise has expanded into a full-year music program featuring jazz trios on their vessels. Michael has taken the lead in directing and coordinating live music for these trips as well as for private functions. The Cocoa & Carols/Holiday Jazz program has found particular success, operating nightly shows between Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve yearly since 2018 (excluding 2020).

In addition to performing, Michael is also a private teacher for saxophone, flute and piano. He has been teaching regularly for over 10 years. His younger students have participated in solo festivals and some have gone on to be accepted to the LaGuardia High School Of Performing Arts.

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