Vibraphonist and electronic musician Michael Pinto is equally at home attending a Star Trek convention, as he is performing to an audience of jazz enthusiasts. He warmly embraces his geekie side and brings it to play both figuratively and literally. If you are a fan and have watched him perform with his band, appropriately called, “Little Green Men”; then you have been privy to a surprising and quite entertaining jazzed rendition of the Imperial March from Star Wars. It’s what makes him unique and sets him apart from his contemporaries. But don’t make the mistake of taking his musical skills lightly. Michael is a seriously gifted and accomplished composer/musician whose finely structured musical passages, at times channel the smooth and effortless style of legends like Milt Jackson, whom he admired since childhood.
Michael’s music is erudite and exudes wiseness far beyond his years. It’s this finesse that first caught the attention of master saxophonist Greg Osby, who added him to the growing roster of raw young talent, he’s harnessed on his Inner Circle Music label.
Michael’s musical abilities manifested themselves early and led him to perfect his skills as a composer, arranger and band leader at Berklee College of Music in Boston. He lists among his teachers, the great Dave Samuels of Spyro Gyra fame, Jason Moran and Stefon Harris. But Michael’s style, his depth and artistry are not things you learn in school, rather, you enhance with formal training. His compositions are greatly influenced by his passion for the world of sci-fi and are reflected in his self-titled debut album, Michael Pinto Prologue, a musical short story which he plans to continue on his second album.
The story is simple but the music is complex. Prologue is based on a tone poem which Michael says “is about an alien scientist who is sent into space to save the world, but instead his attempts accelerate a cataclysmic event.” Scattered throughout the album are references that hardened Star Trek followers are bound to recognize; Deneva the title of track seven refers to the Federation colony annihilated during the Borg invasion of 2381; Tranya is the orange colored beverage, favored by First Federation’s, Commander Balok; and Trelane is a recurring character who menaced Jim Kirk’s Enterprise crew.
Currently working on his next album, Michael plans to make it a joyous celebration that perfectly combines his two distinct passions
For now we invite you to take a listen to this michael’s music as he charts a musical path to “new frontiers” and takes us on a journey of discovery that is out of this world.
Michael has been performing as a leader and sideman in world class jazz venues such as the Village Vanguard, Birdland, Jazz At Lincoln Center’s Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola, Smalls, Sweet Rhythm, Fat Cat, Chris’ Jazz Café (Philadelphia), and more.
Michael worked as an active member of the Greg Osby Five, which has taken him from Perugia, Italy, to the Village Vanguard in New York City.
Michael has also performed with such musicians as Nasheet Waits, Logan Richardson, Greg Osby, Billy Hart, Eric McPherson, Tommy Crane, Sara Serpa, Rodney Green…