Cold Truth, Warm Heart
Pope’s electric bass work can serve as a grounding force, melodic instrument, textural element or impressive solo voice.”
– All About Jazz
Mike Pope was born in the college town of Bowling Green, Ohio in 1970 to well-trained classical musicians and educators. They brought Mike up to listen to all music with discriminating ears and instilled a profound respect for the art form that brought the spiritual and emotional wealth into their home.
By the age of fifteen, Mike was playing bass with the Bowling Green State University Lab Band and sneaking up to Toledo to play in funky little jazz clubs with guys like Eddie Abrams, an aging, local piano legend that had been loosely associated with Bird and other Be Bop giants. With a growing street cred and paying gigs with all the best guys around, Mike knew his future demanded serious refinement so he took off to North Texas State in search of his destiny. It was there that Mike met the musical challenges that he needed to get to the next level. It was at North Texas that Mike encountered the legendary Michael Brecker who was instrumental in coaxing Mike up to NYC to get his own bite of the Big Apple.
It didn’t take long for the cream to rise to the top and in a blink of an eye Mike was working with some of the brightest stars in and around NYC. And when the people you’ve played with run the gamut from Michael Brecker, Blood Sweat and Tears, The Gil Evans Orchestra and Chick Corea to The Roche Sisters, Manhattan Transfer, Lenny Pickett and Blue Lou Marini, you’re no longer just an instrumentalist or a bass player, you’ve become a musician.
In the fall of 2011 Mike was a fit, trim, vibrant young man who was highly motivated to pursue his promising career when nature knocked him to his knees. He found himself in the Brain Rescue Unit of a hospital in Baltimore while being told he had bleeding in his right frontal lobe. After a brief and difficult recovery period Mike was back at it – playing, writing and engineering his latest album “Cold Truth, Warm Heart.” This wake up call and its impact on his world took time to digest but it has been a life-altering event. The intensity, conviction and passion Mike has for life has been made even more resolute since this brush with mortality, and has served to light the fire Mike puts into every note he writes or plays.
Now living in Maryland where, as he puts it, Mike is touring, writing, arranging and practicing music as much as his schedule allows. He’s currently the Creator in Residence at Trickfish Amplification and proprietor of Vatican City Sound, designing exciting new gear and recording music that he loves.
A renaissance musician
”Mike Pope is a real Renaissance man. He is a musician of broad scope and tremendous talent. His virtuosity on electric and acoustic bass is rare even by today’s standards.”
– John Patitucci
Reviews and Testimonials
“Mike has become a fixture on the New York jazz scene. I’ve had the pleasure of playing on his CDs, using him in my band, and recommending him for other situations. He’s an incredible acoustic and electric bassist and one of the few who is comfortable on both instruments while also being a very talented composer.”
“In a year that has already produced a number of excellent recordings, Mike Pope’s The Lay of the Land may well be one of the best. It’s certainly one of the most exciting new albums this reviewer has heard in a long time.”
All About Jazz
Solo withJohn Favicchia's
Mike with Al DiMeola, Krakow, Poland 4-23-07
David Sanborn: Live at fEstival Jazz Lugano 2009
Mike Pope performing with the Chick Corea Elektric Band, 2003, umbria jazz festival
Live with Joe Locke/Geoffrey Keezer Group, Jazz baltica 2006
Bass GURu session, 2015
Chick Corea, Got a Match?
North Sea Jazz Festival,2003
Contact Mike for tours, gigs, recordings, compositions, workshops or educational needs.