Over the last 20 years, flugelhorn and trumpet artist Michael Fair has placed himself prominently into the competitive smooth jazz market. Michael has carved a unique niche for himself musically here in the Middle Tennessee area for a couple of reasons. Performing and recording smooth jazz in a city primarily known for country and contemporary Christian music makes him a bit unique, and being notorious for playing the flugelhorn and trumpet make him a Nashville anomaly.
Michael’s partnership with the trumpet began early in his life. At the age of 12 he was given his first horn. It was no time at all until he began playing the songs that he heard his parents listening to by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. Michael's early performances included solo features in school bands. He studied trumpet performance at Middle Tennessee State University and graduated in 1979 with a Bachelors of Music. Early post college gigs included the typical frat band circuit, club gigs and casuals. Michael moved to Southern California in 1985 and actually did not touch the trumpet or flugelhorn for two years while pursuing other interests. A move back to Nashville in 1987 seemed as natural as picking the horn back up and joining up with a new band, The Cliff Notes, at the time. Working with this group gave Michael exposure to the Nashville music community, opening up opportunities for both live and session work.
Michael has shared the stage on shows with such legends as Michael McDonald, Christopher Cross, Larry Carlton, Olivia Newton-John, Leon Russell, Gary Puckett, Gregg Allman, John Hiatt, Sam Moore, Carman, Claude McKnight, Victor Wooten, Kirk Whalum, and Jim Horn just to name a few. Michael Fair’s music has been heard throughout Nashville. He was featured on a cut with Kirk Whalum on the Kloud 9 release “Yearning 2 Love”, showcased in the Southeast as the solo horn in the Latin Jazz ballet, “Arriving in Indigo City” and has performed on various CDs and movie soundtracks.
Aspiring to cultivate his own signature style, Michael teamed up with writer Brandon Barnes who has been the recipient of numerous songwriting awards, namely multi-Grammy nominations, the Soul Train Award, BMI Pop Song Award, American Music Award, MTV Music Award, Image Award, Blockbuster Award, and an ASCAP Award. Michael met Brandon Barnes in 1995 while Brandon was in Nashville working with Claude McKnight from Take 6 and right after Brandon completed his work with Brian McKnight on his first CD titled “Brian McKnight”. Brandon was a fan of the flugelhorn and loved Michael's sound when he heard him playing at a Nashville club. The two "hit it off" and talked about doing a smooth jazz horn project for years. Finally schedules lined up and together the two have written and produced three smooth jazz projects, the debut CD, “Love Me Like That” in the summer of 2001, their sophomore offering “How Close Are We” released in the fall of 2003 and their new 2006 release,” Back for More”. All three projects accentuate Michael’s trademark warm sound and sensitive phrasing.
Brandon Barnes has co-written some of Brian McKnight's biggest hits including Anytime, The Way Love Goes, Goodbye My Love, One Last Cry, Never Felt This Way, Last Dance, 6 8 12, What's It Gonna Be, “Win” (From Men Of Honor) and Still just to name a few. Brandon has also collaborated with Boyz 2 Men, BeBe and Ce Ce Winans, Phil Collins, Steven Bishop, Earth, Wind and Fire, Alicia Keys, Brenda Russell, Siedah Garrett, Darius Rucker, Tyrese, Robby Nevill, Denise Rich, Justin Timberlake, and the late Art Porter.
Michael’s devoted listeners and his new aficionados, his CDs have
enjoyed much success locally as well as nationally and internationally.
You can hear Michael perform locally at F.Scotts and Sambuca and other
venues being the featured artist with groups from the Nashville area.
Flugelhorn, Trumpet, Guitar, Piano
How Close Are We? Featured artist, Michael
Fair, trumpet and flugelhorn. Co-written with Brandon
Mylls To Go. Featured
artist, Kristine Mylls. trumpet and flugelhorn,
On Kloud 9, Featured artists, Kloud 9, trumpet and flugelhorn, Michael
Love Me Like That. Featured
artist, Michael Fair, trumpet and flugelhorn. Co-written with Brandon
Shades of Gray. Featured artist, Renée. Michael
Fair, trumpet and flugelhorn,
Focus, Featuring Lori D. Hall & Friends. Guest artist,
Michael Fair, trumpet and flugelhorn.
Reflections, Reflexiones. Featured artist, Gabriel
Katona. trumpet and flugelhorn, Michael
artist, Bob Sabellico, trumpet and flugelhorn,
Music from and inspired by the Motion Picture, The Apostle. Various
Artists, trumpet and flugelhorn, Michael
997 Mistakes. Featured artist, Robert Ellis Orrall, trumpet and
flugelhorn. Michael Fair.
2003 solo horn, “Arriving in Indigo City”, Carolina Ballet Theatre,
Columbia, South Carolina.
2003- featured musical act, Michael Fair Quartet, Smooth Sizzle Sundays,
2000- Present; band leader, Michael Fair Quartet, F. Scott’s.
2000- featured musical act, Titan’s Superbowl, Nashville Convention
and Vistor’s Bureau, World’s Largest Private Superbowl Party,
2000- Christian Booksellers Convention with Carman, New Orleans, LA.
1999-Present Amway International Leadership Development
Conference. Spokane, WA.
1999- featured musical act, Tennessee Jazz and Blues Society- Belle
Meade Plantation, Concerts on the Lawn.
1998 -Music City Pow Wow, Shared the bill with Michael McDonald, Oliva
Newton John, Christopher Cross, Larry Carlton, Sam Moore, John Hyatt,
Michael Johnson, Beth Nielson-Chapman.
Mitchart and Blues U Can Use.
Italian Street Fair
The Rock Show, Opryland Theme Park
“I Hear America Singing”, Opryland Theme Park
1992-1995, Franklin Jazz Festival
The Wooten Brothers
1988-1991 Summer Lights Festival
2003-Living Section feature, Stacy Smith Segovia,“Café 541 to host
‘Smooth’ Jazz Night. Clarksville Leaf-Chronicle, p.D4.
2003- CD review, Chuck Mann- Tennessee Jazz & Blues Society, Jazz
and Blues News. P. 6.
2003-Music review, Ron Wynn” Flugelhorn player grooves Gulch”
City Paper, p. 29.
2003-Music review, Carol Batey, “ Carol’s Music
Notebook”-Tennessee Jazz & Blues Society, Jazz and Blues
Newsletter, p, 12.
Actor, Commercial, “ Are you hot or not?” WKRN Nashville ABC
2002- Radio interview- WFSK- “Smooth Side up with Robert Luke”, 88.1
2002- Radio interview-WPLN- “Playing in the Band” series, 90.3FM.
2002- CD review, Pat McCoy-Tennessee Jazz & Blues Society, Jazz and
Blues News, p, 11.
Leader, Featured music spot for the Cliffnotes, Talk of the Town
afternoon show with Harry Chapman. WTVF Nashville CBS affiliate.
concert series- WMOT, “Jazz on the Side”,89.5 FM.
Bit Part, Video “ Honky Tonk Life“ Charlie Daniel’s Band, aired on
Country Music Television (CMT) and Video Hits One (VH-1).
Co-host- “ The Moonlighters”, CATV
Middle Tennessee State University , BA,