Just kicking around. Literally.
Conductor boy…wait what!?!
Real thankful for being a part of Daniel Fish’s Oklahoma (2019 Tony Winner for Best Revival of a musical), as the associate musical director and #2 conductor/accordionist & drummer to my dear friend and musical director/conductor Nathan Koci, while this deep reimagining of an American classic starts it’s run on Broadway. Being a part of these rehearsals and now getting to conduct this SUPER heavy cast and band has been a gift. Never been a Bway kid but this reworking is great great art. Much love to Nathan, Daniel Kluger and Daniel Fish for trusting me with their work. Hope to see you at a show. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/07/theater/oklahoma-review.html
Michael Bellar SOLO opening for Jon Cleary at the Brooklyn Bowl 3/6/2019!
Super excited to open again for the great Jon Cleary in Brooklyn NY on March 6th. https://www.brooklynbowl.com/event/1789829-jon-cleary-absolute-monster-brooklyn/
Abbie Gardner's Wishes On a Neon Sign
I’m stoked to announce that a record which I produced - Abbie Gardner’s Wishes on a Neon Sign, is now released into the world! You might know Abbie from her work over the years with the group Red Molly. Abbie is a dear friend and I could not be more proud of this work we did together. The songs on this recording are fun, heartfelt and soulful and in my opinion Abbie’s best writing by far - Including one song co-written with Chris Stapleton. Along with a great band which included Abbie on lead vocals/dobro/lap steel/uke, Craig Akin/bass, Tony Mason/drums, JP Ruggieri/guitars, Fred Gillen Jr/backing vocals/washboard, Nicole Zuraitis/backing vocals, Kesang Marstrand/backing vocals, Janice Lancaster/jambalaya and yours truly on keyboards, accordion and percussion. The bulk of the record was recorded by Chris Benham at Big Orange Sheep with Kyle Cassel and Jeremy Delaney engineering overdubs at Kaleidoscope and was mixed by Chris Jacobie and mastered at Lurssen Mastering.
I want to extend my sincere thanks to everyone involved with this recording.
So GO check it out! https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/wishes-on-a-neon-sign/1323342865
Michael Bellar & the AS-IS Ensemble on Fresh Air
Super proud to be on this list - Thanks Terry Gross and Fresh Air.
Michael Bellar SOLO in Brooklyn NY - April 8th 2017. closing out the "What For, Why Not" Arts Festival
On Saturday April 8th I have the pleasure of performing my SOLO thing in the closing evening of the “What For, Why Not’ Series at Triskelion Arts in Greenpoint Brooklyn. The evening will be a split bill with myself and my dear friend and human spark plug Marielis Garcia. And at the end, I just bet we’ll do something together.
When they send you the track and it's Alicia Keys?!?!
I get to do a lot of remote recording out of my space in NYC for all sorts of different kinds of musical situations and I had the pleasure of playing Hammond organ on this. When the commercial peeps call, it’s not often that they are sending you a rough mix of Alicia Keys singing and playing piano. I’ve always had a great respect for her and her art and it just so happens that this is one of the greatest songs ever written. Plus at the time I didn’t even know that Lebron, KD and Serena were even going to be in this?!?! So here's to hopefully playing more with Ms Keys down the road and maybe getting some free shoes...
Michael Bellar SOLO opening for Jon Cleary at the Ardmore Music Hall 9/2/2016!
Real excited about this one - doing my SOLO thing opening for the great Jon Cleary on Friday 9/2 at the Ardmore Music Hall outside of Philly. He’s got one of those Grammy things. Might be one of the few who actually deserves one.
New York City SOLO show at the NY Society of Ethical Culture
photo by Sid Ceasar - www.ceaserphotography.com
SOLO sets in Virginia and Alabama!!
Jump Little Children Reunion shows
photo by Kate Casanova - www.katecasanova.com
The Jump Little Children “Punctured Lungs are Boring Tour" starts tonight! 12/16. To my brothers - Evan, Ward, Johnny, Mattie and Jay. Real proud of y’all and can’t wait to join in in a couple of days. As always, thanks for letting me play along. “The day of love is coming, Let’s have a parade.” www.jumplittlechildren.com
Michael Bellar SOLO opening for Cory Henry & the Funk Apostles
Excited to be opening for the great Cory Henry & the Funk Apostles Nov 3rd in Raleigh NC at the Pour House.
Spring Southern SOLO!!!
I'll be doing some SOLO sets in NC in MAY including opening for some great groups including Jeff Sipe Trio, TAUK and Jonathan Scales Fourchestra and playing an evening of solos and duos with the incomparable Melissa Reaves!!!
New York SOLO. Rockwood Music Hall Stage 1. March 9th at 11pm.
Charleston International Jazz Festival!!!
Friday Jan 23rd and 24th I'll be performing at the 1st Annual Charleston SC Jazz Festival. The 23rd I'll be playing a SOLO set and on the 24th I'll be in a band backing up the great Fred Wesley!!!!!
AS-IS Ensemble opening for Robert Randolph and the Family Band in NYC Thanksgiving weekend!!!!
Real excited about doing another show opening for the great Robert Randolph and the Family Band. Last fall we did 4 shows with them and they couldn't have been cooler to us. Brooklyn Bowl Saturday Nov 29th y'all!!!! 8pm doors 9pm show.
New recording, new website and lottttts of summer shows!
Hey y'all. Big news all around.
New CD titled "Oh No Oh Wow," official release date June 24, 2014 and BIG summer tour including shows at the Telluride, Blue Note and San Jose Jazz Summer Fest with a NYC residency at Rockwood!
AS-IS opening for the Everyone Orchestra at Brooklyn Bowl 4/3/2014!!!!
Our Favorite Lurker EVER!!!
We noticed this guy lurking around the in the crowd after we opened for #Robert Randolph & the Family Band in Charleston recently. Sure enough - Bill Murray!!! When I went to settle with our merch girl, she got really excited and said "Bill Murray just bought 2 of your cds!" So, now I'm just hanging out waiting for the call from Wes Anderson asking if he can use the AS-IS Ensemble for the theme music for Rushmore 2!!!! Here's to dreaming...
Fall 2013. Shows with Robert Randolph and Mellissa Reaves!!
Hey y’all. So much goodness going on
ROBERT RANDOLPH & the FAMILY BAND…
We’ve had an amazing time doing shows with Robert Randolph & the Family Band recently. The amount of love we’ve been getting from Robert’s fans has been a bit overwhelming actually. Getting a lot of “What a great surprise you guys were,” and “So glad we came early,” when meeting peeps after shows and I’ll take that!!!!! Feeling really lucky to be apart of such a great scene. Many thanks to Robert, the Family Band, crew and his fans for making us feel so welcome. Looking forward to the ones coming up next in Charlotte and Charleston.
New AS-IS recordings…
I know there have been many rumblings and mumblings this year about the subject. They are all very real. In fact TWICE as real as you think – as in more than one new AS-IS Ensemble recording is coming! We will be making the announcements veryyyy soon.
Upcoming Shows THIS WEEK! Roanoke VA, Carrboro NC, Hickory NC, Nashville TN and Athens GA.
Headed south this week! And along with our shows with Robert Randolph we are also doing shows with hurricane Melissa Reaves! Then we head to the northeast in October. All the tour details at the SHOW page.
Thanks for being apart of it all!
Shows with Oliver Wood!!!
We have had an AMAZING year. Simple as that. To all who have come to shows and continue to support our thing. THANKS!!!
We did 60 shows in 14 states. (including 3 festivals, a headlining show at SXSW, one full length modern dance score and one incredible college residency at Presbyterian College in SC (go Blue Hose!!)
Here’s a link to some free downloadable LIVE bootlegs from this year. http://www.archive.org/search.php?query=creator%3A%22Michael+Bellar+and+the+As+Is+Ensemble%22
Lots of shows north AND south in January including 3 shows with OLIVER WOOD of the Wood Brothers. What?!?!?! Please help spread the word and tell all your peeps. And don’t forget that the latest CD – Turned On Turned Up is avail everywhere and would make a GREATTTTTT holiday gift. Links are below. Thanks. See you at a show. MB http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?id=330320309&s=1 http://michaelbellar.com http://facebook.com/michaelbellar.asisensemble
- header photo by mike depasquale