Born in Los Angeles, Michael Broening is a producer, pianist and songwriter who has been working steadily in Contemporary jazz from his home in Phoenix, Arizona. In the past decade he’s produced over a dozen contemporary jazz hits, including 4 top 5’s and the Grammy winning #1 song "Mornin'" by George Benson. More and more artists are calling Mike’s name to lend his hand in their productions, including George Benson, Marion Meadows, Cindy Bradley, Jaared, Jay Soto, Tim Bowman, and Steve Oliver, to name a few. Mike is also a devoted husband and father of two, and has found great joy and success balancing career and family.
While growing up in Phoenix, Mike took up piano lessons at the age of 5. By the age of 15, he began playing professionally, both as a solo pianist and with high school bands, and was teaching at 16. At 17, he joined Young Sounds of Arizona, a high school all-star big band, where he won a music scholarship that he used to attend Arizona State University. An honor student in high school and college, Mike majored in finance and music. While in college, he continued to perform and teach piano, played in numerous bands, and performed various musical improv comedy sketches with the Arizona State comedy troop. At 19 he had his first song published.
After graduation, Mike co-founded the contemporary jazz group “Turning Point” in 1993, a band that, now in its 16th year, is still together, with 7 international releases to their credit. The group, with original music co-written by Mike and guitarist Thano Sahnas, released their debut CD in 1994, and their high energy show quickly became a favorite in the Phoenix Jazz scene. Over the next 4 years, the band released 2 more CD’s, the latter on Syndrome Records, and had its music featured on soap opera “Guiding Light.”
From 1995 through 1999 Mike worked on many CD’s as a session keyboardist, arranger and occasional producer. He also began working with Grammy winning producer Billy Williams (Lyle Lovett), arranging a national Chevy commercial, as well as honing his production skills from one of the great veterans in the business. Mike played over 200 dates a year between 97-99, working on stage with such acclaimed national artists as Marion Meadows, Nelson Rangell and Jeff Kashiwa, to name a few. He also wrote and arranged songs for jazz artists Wayman Tisdale and Steve Oliver on international releases. Now firmly established in the Arizona music community, Mike branched out and started his own company, Michael Broening Productions, in 1999.
2000 to Present …
In 2000, the newly married Mike started his own studio, “The “B” Hive,” recording and programming for many of the top Phoenix bands and artists. In addition, Mike had a brief run as music director for A&M artist CeCe Peniston. 2001, however, proved to be a turning point, as Mike became writer/producer for Heads Up recording saxophonist Marion Meadows. Having been friends for a few years, they found an immediate chemistry, co-writing 9 of the songs together on the 2002 international release, “In Deep.” Working as a producer, songwriter, engineer, keyboardist, and mixer, Mike had landed his dream job. “In Deep” was a great success, peaking at #11 on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz chart. The song “Tales of a Gypsy” reached the top 20 on the R&R radio charts and stayed in the top 40 Jazz radio charts for over a year. Marion’s follow-up release, 2004’s “Players Club” had an even stronger showing. With two new outstanding musicians being added to the team, bassist Mel Brown and guitarist Freddie Fox, Players Club peaked at #9 on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz chart. The CD was well received and featured two top 5 radio singles, “Sweet Grapes” and “Suede,” that stayed on the charts for over 2 years.
“Meadows and Broening strike a unique chord as one of the most melodically correct groove-oriented teams in contemporary jazz” - Sheldon T. Nunn - Jazz Review.com
In early 2006, Mike wrote produced 10 songs on his 3rd CD for Marion Meadows entitled “Dressed to Chill.” It produced 2 top 10 singles and reached #2 on the Billboard contemporary jazz charts. In 2007, Mike had the biggest professional accomplishment of his career, producing and arranging George Benson's "Morning," which won the 2007 Grammy for "Best Pop Instrumental." "Morning" hit #1 on the contemporary jazz charts at the same time Meadows "Dressed to Chill" reached #3, giving Michael the accomplishment of having 2 of the 3 top singles in the country for 3 consecutive weeks. In addition, Michael co-produced and arranged Benson's "Ordinary People" and was credited playing B3 organ on the song “Bring it on Home to Me,” which featured Paul McCartney, Benson and Jarreau. The CD, titled "Givin' it Up" reached #1 on Billboard, and took home 2 Grammy’s in 2007.
Since 2006, Mike has written and produced CD’s for several different contemporary jazz artists, including Marion Meadows, Tim Bowman, Althea Rene, Steve Oliver, Dominic Amato, Freddie Fox, Jay Soto, Cindy Bradley, and Jaared. Every CD featured a single written by Mike that charted in the top 30. In 2010, His production of Bradley’s “Bloom” was nominated by the American Smooth Jazz Awards for Album of the Year.
“I’m a very fortunate guy” says Broening. “I get to work with these unbelievable musicians and artists, and I get to be Mr. Mom … sometimes at the same time. That balance is very important to me. Children always manage to bring you back to reality, and that keeps you focused on what’s truly important in life.”
“Music has always been close to my heart, so I’m still grateful every day that I get to do this for a living.
Born: August 10th
Family: Wife Leedene (Married in September, 2000) and two children, Alyssa (born November 2002) and Drew (born July 2005)
Currently resides in Phoenix, Arizona.