A Blessing from the Pandemic


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As difficult and painful as this period has been for the world, we sometimes see a silver lining emerge in the midst of tragedy. In September of last year, my sons moved out of our house. Our oldest Julian moved to Brooklyn and Matthew started his college experience at Juilliard. Suddenly I found myself home every night and getting to really spend time with my wife and daughter. That was a real treat, but as the days turned to weeks and months, my daughter Jacquie and I found ourselves practicing together for hours on end. Already a gifted violinist and improvisor, this time together allowed her to attain a facility with improvisation language that few teenagers possess.  Her new found talent is a blessing but it is only a glimpse of the real blessing of growing so close to her and having her join me and her brothers on the “Scene.” 

We will celebrate her arrival this Wednesday Night at Clement’s place in Newark joined by her brothers and a couple more members of our extended music family. 

Wednesday, October 20,2021 
Sets at 7:00 and 8:20 
Jazz973 at Clements Place Presents:
Mike Lee Family Band Introducing Jacquie Lee

It’s FREE, but you must secure your tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/192957750827

Featuring Jacquie Lee – Violin with:
Julian lee – Sax
Matthew Lee – Drums
Mike Lee – Sax
Rebecca Lee – Violin
Liany Mateo -Bass
Nat Adderley Jr. – Piano

Back At It With the Loston Harris Trio!

After a year and a half off, we’re back for our bi-annual residency at Bemelman’s Bar at the Carlyle Hotel! Loston Harris has been a fixture at the Carlyle for almost twenty years and I’ve been with him for most of the past decade. Bemelman’s is an exquisite venue filled with artistes, celebrities and characters of all stripes. Loston is a phenomenal vocalist and pianist. We play a wide range of American Songbook and Jazz Standards. It’s truly a remarkable scene. Please join us! I’ll be with Loston every Thursday Friday and Saturday night through the end of the year. 

Join us as we Celebrate our return to The Carlyle, NYC on Oct.21 – Dec. 31, 2021. Thur. (9:30pm – 12:30am); Fri. & Sat. (9:30pm – 1am)

Candlelight Lounge Trenton

The Candlelight Lounge in Trenton, NJ, is a gem of a jazz club. It reminds me of the neighborhood clubs I grew up playing at in Cleveland, OH. The folks love the music. It’s a Saturday Matinee schedule so we can make our evening gigs in New York. E C Bradley is the proprietor and bar tender, and his wife, Valerie serves up an amazing meal. 

This Saturday we’ll be performing with Radam Schwartz Quartet featuring Bryan Carrot and Andrew Atkinson. Featuring music from Radam’s “Both Sides of the Organ Combo” CD. 

SATURDAY October 23
Candlelight Jazz Matinee
3:30-7:30
$10 minimum

Candlelight Lounge 24 Passaic Street Trenton, NJ 08618

Loston Harris Quartet

"Too Marvelous For Words" by Loston Harris Quartet - (Virtual Songs #27)

We’ve been recording a virtual playlist for you over the past few months. We’ve already got 27 tunes up on YouTube and other social media. Here’s our rendition of “Too Marvelous For Words.”

Music in the Fami-Lee

One crazy thing about this quarantine life is that we’re all feeling it. We might be tempted to feel sorry for ourselves, but no-one is immune from the effects. News today about another dear friend passing breaks the spell of this isolated world. Spending my days playing music with my wife and children is a dream come true, but it is spoiled by the horrific nightmare that rages on around us.

Here are several recent videos family videos from the last month of quarantine. From my family to yours.

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Peter Lin Interview

Peter Lin is an exceptional trombonist and budding entrepreneur. Since he came on the scene over a decade ago as a student at William Paterson he has distinguished himself as a forward thinking contributor to the jazz community. I was so honored that he asked to interview me as part of his jazz business series produced by his company, Yardbird Suite Entertainment.

This was done on March 10th, just a few days before we all went into isolation because of Covid -19. The last segment about “Mike’s perfect day” is a little too prophetic. I didn’t mean like this! This interview was a long one. We’ve known each other for so long, there was so much to talk about and Peter let me talk! I was surprised with what came out of my own mouth. The interview is indexed so you can bounce around to topics that interest you (See below the video). Enjoy.

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Lenny White 70th Birthday Celebration

Master drummer and producer, Lenny White turns 70 today, December 19th. I’ve been an admirer of Lenny’s since I started listening to jazz. He appears on many albums that have been influential to me. About five years ago I started playing with him in Wallace Roney’s Orchestra and we did several Wallace Roney Quintet gigs together as well. He plays on my newest CD “A Song For All of Us” and has done several gigs supporting this project.

This January Lenny celebrates his milestone birthday with two weekends of performances at Made In New York Jazz Club in Brooklyn. He as a different band each night. I’m beyond excited to be performing with him on January 5th (sets at 6:00 pm and 8:00 pm). We’ll be featuring music from my CD on this evening along with Ed Howard, Dave Stryker, and, of course, Lenny White. Check out the full schedule of bands that will be performing for this landmark run of gigs. Other musicians featured will be Buster Williams, Christian McBride, Chris Potter, Dave Liebman, and other luminaries.

Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola March 25th! CD Release Show Featuring Lenny White!

I’ve spent a lot of time at Dizzy’s over the last couple of years. Most often I’ve been on my way home from my steady gig at the Carlyle with Loston Harris when I stop into the jam session which was for a long time was hosted by my son, Julian. I have also performed at Dizzy’s with Oliver Lake, Josh Evans, Loston Harris, and even played one week as Julian’s sideman for the late set when he was the late night featured artist. But on March 25th at 9:30 – one set only! – I will be debuting as a leader at the famous Jazz at Lincoln Center night club, Dizzy’s Club Coca-cola in celebration of my new CD “Song For All Of Us” on the IYOUWE record label.

The gig, like the CD, will feature the iconic drummer, Lenny White (Miles Davis, Chick Corea, Chaka Khan), as well as master musicians George Colligan on piano, and Ed Howard on bass. Julian Lee will be joining me in the front line. Please join us for this wonderful evening by reserving tickets here. The video below shows some short snippets from our New Jersey CD release at Clement’s Place last month.

Clips from Feb 23rd 2019 at Clement’s Place in New Jersey