About Michael Bayard

World-renowned percussionist, recording artist, and educator Michael Bayard is a native of Flushing, Queens, New York, where at age 12 he began his percussion career by practicing diligently on a rubber drum pad in his basement. He continued his musical studies at the Juilliard School, where he was accepted on full scholarship at age 15. One year later, he performed his Carnegie Hall debut on solo percussion with the New York Youth Symphony.

At age 18, Mr. Bayard was admitted to the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, also on full scholarship. During his studies at Curtis, Mr. Bayard performed under the batons of Eugene Ormandy, Leonard Bernstein, Klaus Tennstedt, Claudio Abbado, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, and Leonard Slatkin.

Two weeks after graduating Curtis from a class of sixteen, Mr. Bayard headed west, appointed to the position of principal percussionist with the Sacramento Symphony, a post he held for 17 years - from 1980 to 1997. During this time period, Mr. Bayard also wrote deeply compelling musical compositions for percussion ensemble and dance, exploring the depths of human emotion and existence.

Mr. Bayard was appointed to the position of principal percussionist with the Sacramento Symphony, a post he held for 17 years.
 

In addition to performing over 2000 classical and contemporary music concerts over the years, Mr. Bayard has performed on percussion and drum set with many legendary popular musicians - including Paul Simon, Kenny Rogers, Tony Bennett, and the late Henry Mancini, Mel Torme, Ray Charles, and Frank Sinatra.

In 1994, Michael launched Rhythm Magic!, his finest work yet. This one of a kind, boldly imaginative percussion program has captivated and inspired students and adults throughout America. Using music and rhythm in an interactive and participatory process, Rhythm Magic builds self-esteem and confidence, and fosters creative expression and imagination. In schools, it integrates math, science, literacy, social studies and multicultural appreciation with music. And the Rhythm Magic corporate program is the key to teamwork and harmony in the workplace.

In 1999, Michael launched his label, Rhythm Magic Records, with the release of "Dream Walker: A Journey Through Time" - a powerful original composition for four percussionists that takes the listener from the dawn of time, through the Middle Ages, to the 20th Century, the Apocalypse and a "New Beginning." This provocative CD is available through Amazon.com. Mr. Bayard's complete discography is available at www.BayardMuseum.com.

In his personal time, Michael collaborates with a number of fascinating artists. Recently he has combined talents with anthropologist and evolutionary biologist Hank Wesselman, who is the author of "The Journey to the Sacred Garden," as well as the critically-acclaimed Trilogy-"Spiritwalker," "Medicinemaker," and "Visionseeker." Michael joined Hank in a live performance that evolved to a journey of self-discovery and healing. Michael also collaborates frequently with the magnificent Native American flutist Mary Youngblood. Michael and Mary present concerts of strikingly beautiful musical textures and hypnotic rhythms.