Mike Theiss (pronounced “tice”) likes to do a little bit of everything when it comes to music. He is best known as a saxophonist, but he is a proficient keyboardist and plays percussion and electric bass on his own recording projects as well. Mike also composes, arranges, produces and engineers his own songs. On his debut CD Doityourselfincrimination, Mike performs all of these duties.
Mike credits a long list of artists as having impacted his sound. However, his biggest influences as a saxophone player are Maceo Parker and Julian "Cannonball" Adderley. Other notable musical influences are Bernie Worrell (keyboardist of Parliament/Funkadelic) and Stevie Wonder. On each of the instruments he plays, Mike has a sound that is funky and syncopated, yet soulful and expressive.
Mike attended Berklee College of Music in Boston and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Music Production and Engineering in 1995. While at Berklee, he studied with acclaimed saxophonist and educator Bill Pierce. Recognizing that personal recording technology was revolutionizing the way music was made, Mike began to assemble a home studio shortly after graduation so he could record his own songs.
In late 1996, Mike returned home to Seattle where he played gigs with several funk bands and jazz combos. However, it wasn't long before his focus shifted completely towards his home recording projects. He spent several years refining his sound and accumulating a library of demos, some of which were later re-recorded to be included on Doityourselfincrimination.
In late 2003, longtime friend Anthony Warner recruited Mike to join his band Altered States of Funk. Initially a five-piece instrumental funk group which incorporated a lot of improvised jamming, Altered States of Funk has matured into an eight piece vocal driven band with horns and a four-piece rhythm section. The band has played to enthusiastic audiences around the Puget Sound region at Bumbershoot, Northwest Folklife Festival, The Bite of Seattle, Chop Suey, Nectar Lounge and EMP Liquid Lounge among others. In 2006, Altered States of Funk was named the top Soul/R&B Band in the Seattle Weekly's Annual Music Awards poll.
Mike is a prominently featured soloist in Altered
States of Funk and he wrote most of the horn lines in the band’s
original songs. In addition, the band has recently started to feature
Mike playing some of his original songs from “Doityourselfincrimination”
in their live sets.
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