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Michael Cain

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  • Years Active: 1990s, 2000s


Biography All Music Guide

All Music Guide:

A talented pianist who is able to fit into a typical ECM session but also shows more fire than expected, Michael Cain is thus far best-known for his association with Jack DeJohnette. Cain, who grew up in Las Vegas, began playing piano when he was four and, although he started with classical music, he was always quite interested in improvising too. He studied jazz and classical music at North Texas State University and also studied at USC and Cal Arts. While still attending the latter, Cain performed with Marlena Shaw, Gerald Wilson's Orchestra, Billy Higgins, the New American Orchestra and James Newton's Quartet. In 1990, Cain moved to New York. Soon he was working with the M-Base players (including Greg Osby and Robin Eubanks), he recorded two CDs as a leader (for Candid) and joined Jack DeJohnette's band. In addition to DeJohnette (with whom he has worked and recorded on and off since), Cain has been a part of Anthony Cox's Quartet and played with many top musicians including Dave Holland, John Scofield, Steps Ahead, Gary Thomas, Marty Ehrlich, Ray Anderson and Bobby Previte. Michael Cain, who teaches at the Eastman School of Music, recorded a CD of his own for ECM in 1986 and was commissioned to write music for Bill Clinton's 1997 presidential inauguration gala.