David Michael

David Michael portrait

Celtic harpist and multi-instrumentalist, David Michael, is an eclectic composer, producer, author and prolific recording artist, specializing in romantic World Fusion music and free-form improvisation. His music has been featured on syndicated radio shows, cable & network television and in nature films. David now performs on a recently-acquired 38-string harp made of bubinga wood—the harp of his dreams and the one used on the Confluence album with Nancy Rumbel and Benjy Wertheimer.

With a background in both classical and folk music, David went on to study Flamenco guitar and Middle Eastern music and played with musicians from India. He became one of the early pioneers of World Fusion music, seeking the common ground between diverse genres. He has collaborated with master ethnic musicians and members of major symphonies.

David grew up in Seattle and has been playing stringed instruments most of his life. He studied cello and piano as a child, gravitated to guitar as a teenager and went on to become a singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, taking up bouzouki, viola-da-gamba, psalteries, zithers and other harp-like instruments before eventually realizing he'd been "trying to make a guitar sound like a harp" for years. In 1983 he discovered his forte, the Celtic harp, which most of his original compositions since then are based upon.

An international busker, he became somewhat of an institution for his 17-years of impromptu, free concerts aboard Washington State Ferries. That long stint was capsized in 2007 because of “homeland security” concerns, dismaying his many fans and touching off an international media storm, prompting him to publish a memoir: BUSKER – Tales of a Renegade Harpist. (See www.renegadeharpist.com) He has also performed in European castles, cultural centers and in the walking streets of Scandinavia.

Since 1990 he has resided in Port Townsend where he operates his independent record label Purnima Productions. To date he has produced 25 CDs of original music, as a solo artist, with flutist, (the late) Randy Mead, and a host of others including Benjy Wertheimer, Michael Mandrell, Richard Russell, Steve Gorn, Ann Lindquist, Gwen Franz, Matthew Montfort, Mark Eubanks, his wife Dari and with many others. His original recordings vary in style from lively ensembles to ambient works designed for meditation and the healing arts.