Mike began his musical studies at age 10 with the violin. As a teenager, Mike began playing the guitar and embarked on what has become 30+ years of guitar studies. In 1982, Mike completed his degree in Music from Long Beach City College and participated in the commercial music program as a guitar player in the Jazz Band. During that time, Mike studied flatpick guitar privately, and was introduced to the playing styles of his earliest influences, Doc Watson, Clarence White and Tony Rice.
In 1992, Mike became involved in the Calvary Chapel worship community and played guitar as a member of his local church worship team. He would go on to lead the team as the musical director for the next 10 years.
In 2003, Mike returned to his flatpicking roots and began attending several local jams and music camps including the Roanoke Bluegrass weekend, Kaufman Acoustic Kamps, Yellowstone Music Camp, Nashville Guitar Academy and the Colorado Roots Music Camp. He has had the privilege to meet, pick, and study with many of his mentors and world famous flatpickers such as, Mike Dowling, David Grier, Jack Lawrence, John Carlini, Russ Barenberg, Brad Davis, Pat Flynn and Tim May.
Mike’s earliest performance’s date back to his elementary school days as a drummer in the band/orchestra, and, in later years, as a member of the school choir.
In college, Mike spent 2 years as a member of the jazz band and small group ensembles. Under the direction of Dr. George Shaw, Mike performed in the band with special guests; Jamey Ambersold, Michael Sembello, David Sanborn, Patrice Rushen.
From 1992 to 2003, Mike performed regularly as a member of his church’s worship team. Preparing, rehearsing and performing weekly services, holiday events, and summer concerts.
In 2010, Mike performed as the guitarist and lead singer for the bluegrass band, Murphy’s Flaw. In 2011, Mike became a sideman and sub for other local bands; 2 Frets Lower, Ted’s Bluegrass, and Simon Pure.
Mike has toured and performed with flatpicking great Tim May, who also produced Mike’s debut CD, “Movin’ On,” which is available of FGM Records.
Mike owns several guitars, but his current workhorse is a 1959 Martin D18.
- 2008 Berklee College of Music
- Master Certificate – Guitar
- 1982 Long Beach City College
- AA Degree, Major in Music
- 1978 – Present, Special Studies
- Flatpicking Guitar – Tom Koch, Brad Davis, Tim May
- Classical Guitar – Doug Heins, Peter Zisa
- Jazz Guitar – “Chips” Hoover, John Carlini
- Improvisation – Jimmy Bruno, Pat Cloud, Raul Reynoso
- Jazz Studies/Performance – Dr. George W . Shaw
- Nashville Numbering/Arranging – Tim May
Mike is currently working on an instructional book entitled, “Fundamentals of Music for Guitar – Understanding the Guitar Fretboard.”
An instructor as well as a performer, Mike currently teaches privately in the Bozeman, MT area and, on occasion, conducts small group guitar workshops.
Please contact Mike@Mikegurzi.com for information on lessons online or in person.