" I am a professional belly dancer and salsa dance performer and I have had the pleasure of working with Michael Washington on several different venues. He is an energetic talented percussionist who brings his all to his performances. I highly recommend him for your event and or band. I would consider him first for any event I had need of a percussionist ." - Denice Marie Eyer AKA Jameela
I am originally from Columbia, South Carolina where I was born into a family of gospel singers. Although I was a singer first from age 4, I was just completely hypnotized by rhythm! The poly-rhythms of the hand clapping at church, the groove of the local high school drum lines marching in the parades and all of the great music that I heard on the radio in the late 70s and early 80s. I later moved to Tampa, Florida in the mid 80s and got involved with school band and playing drums in church. While in high school I gravitated towards listening to the music of such artists as Pat Metheny Group, Claude Debussy, Otis Redding, Chick Corea, E.L.P., Ottorino Respighi, Yes, Stan Kenton, Paul Winter Consort, Buddy Rich, James Brown, Leonard Bernstein, Michel Camilo, Bela Bartok, Mickey Hart & Planet Drum, Take 6, Steve Vai, New York Voices, Sir William Walton and Charlie Parker even though I was definitely into "old school" late 70s to early 90s hip-hop. After that time I was busy performing with and later on teaching drum & bugle corps and also teaching at high school band programs. I spent 6 years living, performing and studying music in Tokyo, Japan and have traveled all over the world to Cairo, Egypt to study middle eastern music, to Colombia to teach marching percussion and experience their folk music and to South Korea, Indonesia, Thailand, Spain, all over the Caribbean, Mexico, Canada, Panama and Costa Rica to photograph in the streets and absorb the rhythm, art and cultures of those places.
Being able to see the world, meet people from all walks of life and experience different cultures in depth
has been very enriching on so many levels. I think that Is why I gravitated to the camera. There is just so much to see and take in that you have to take photos so that later when you understand some things a bit more, it can finally make some sense and then you can come to truly appreciate them. If you take a step back and really look at it, photography and music have so much in common: Rhythm, color harmony, timing, composition, emotion and communication; These concepts are all deeply embedded in both.
I continually look into other cultures for influence and inspirational ideas to refresh the classics and to use that as a start to breaking the mold, to be open to other people's ways and ideas and to allow all art and nature to inspire rhythm, melody and harmony in my playing.
I endorse Masterwork Cymbals and I also use and Unofficially endorse: Meinl Percussion frame drums & shakey stuff, Gawharet El Fan doumbeks and riqs, Vic Firth drum sticks, Ludwig Drums snares and 3-ply vintage drums (the new ones are very nice too;). I shoot photos with a Canon 50D.
If you would like to read the long version from a third person point of view, here is my Full Bio and also my Full Resume