Michael Bellar has performed music on six continents, but being a native of
, he stands by his slow, southern roots. He has toured and/or recorded with Amos Lee, Art Garfunkel, Howie Day, Wheatus, Jump Little Children, Teddy Geiger, Euro pop superstar Giorgia, and Jay Clifford’s Rosebud. His national TV appearances include Late Night with David Letterman, the Late Show with Conan O’Brien, the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, the Ellen Degeneres Show, TRL, Good Morning America, Regis and Kelly, and the CBS Morning Show. He has also produced and scored music for CUT Music (LA), Fluid (NYC), Bang Music and Razorhead. North Carolina
Michael is also the founder, composer, and keyboardist of the AS-IS Ensemble. This highly excitable, alt-jazz group has performed at such venues as Avery Fischer Hall at
How do you describe your music to people, Michael?
Man this one's hard. I know I should have the super cool buzz worthy label for you and if I had, I'd give to you. I think it's alternative-jazz. Jazz for people who don't like jazz. Definitely improvisational - always changing and lot's and lot's of rhythm and drums.
Tell me about how you originally got into your craft.
It just was with me. My parent are both classical musicians, but growing up I wasn't interested in that. For me it was Led Zep and Pink Floyd. I went to a conservatory for piano not knowing what the hell was going on. And off hand this guy I know said, "Hey next semester we are going to start playing jazz, want to join?" So here we are. Whoops.......In the end, I want AS-IS to improvise more like Zeppelin did. It's a group thing and that is what gets me excited.
What is your favorite thing to do in the whole wide world?
This is a public forum right?
What is your biggest challenge when it comes to running your business?
Exposure probably. This band is the kind of band that lives on stage. It's a communal, live experience. So touring is where it lives - but it's an expensive place to live you know. Another issue is probably balance between taking care of your art and your business.
When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to be when you grew up?
In what way has your community impacted your development as a musician?
Well, I grew up in
What other artists out there do you love?
Nusrat Ali Khan
What does your future hold?
Just to keep doing our thing. Touring as much as possible and playing for the peeps.