As a young boy MICHAEL SEMBELLO studied music with the same mystical awe and desire of a Zen monk. Instead of chanting sacred mantras for hours, or spending years trying to snatch a pebble from a masters? hand, his disciplines consisted of hours of intense "musical Vedas," and sacred scales, cosmic chords and flying feats of harmonic wonder that would have had the God Thor of Valhalla working up a big sweat.So you can imagine Sembello?s big surprise while sitting quickly mediating on the sounds of the universe, honing his already "Ninja" like musical skills on a lazy summer afternoon in Philadelphia, to suddenly and without warning, finding himself on stage in a giant coliseumin front of thousands of screaming people, playing guitar in STEVIE WONDER?s band. "This is not really an exaggeration, I?ve done some astral projection before but this was ridiculous! I auditioned on a Saturday, got the gig immediately, went to New York on Monday to rehearse for a week, then ?bang? on tour for three months" reflected Michael.
Michael Sembello?s musical invocations began in 1983 when he released his first solo record entitled ?Bossa Nova Hotel?. Immediately following it?s release, Michael scored a huge chart thundering success writing and performing the Grammy award winning song? MANIAC", from the movie "FLASHDANCE", the third top grossing song from a movie soundtrack. He has recorded, written, and produced songs among the company of some of the industries greats, such as STEVIE WONDER, MICHAEL JACKSON, JERMAIN JACKSON, THE JACKSON 5, DIANA ROSS, JEFFREY OSBORNE, CHAKA KHAN, GEORGE BENSON, DAVID SANBORN, NEW EDITION, SEALS & CROFTS, JULIAN LENNON, PEBBLES, DONNA SUMMER, MINNIE RIPPERTON, STEPHANIE MILLS, LAURA BRANIGAN, BARBARA STRIESAND,THE TEMPTATIONS, PHILLIP BAILEY, DENIECE WILLIAMS, MELISSA MANCHESTER, ANGELA BOFILL, SERGIO MENDEZ, GERARDO, ART GARFUNKLE, STANLEY CLARKE AND GEORGE DUKE.
Professionally, Michael Sembello has achieved many milestones in his career. In 1986 he recorded ? Without Walls? and in 1992 he first entered the global market with his East meets West album entitled ?Caravan Of Dreams?. Sembello?s Malaysian numbers were all originals and included three Indonesian tracks. He was hailed as capturing the beauty of the language of Bali through his perfect diction. Michael?s R&B meet mystical groove marriage continued and in 1996 and 1997 he recorded his fourth CD, ?Backwards In Time,? and collaborated with the group ?Brother Time? as a guest vocalist.
Now, Michael Sembello has returned to his roots on the East Coast where it all began. This is the first stop on his melodic world voyage as he prepares to detach himself from the solace of his West Coast recording studio and embark on his quest to merge cultural musical forces into a universal language. His ultimate dream is to create a multi-cultural awareness by writing music based on indigenous sounds from all geographic areas.
Michael Sembello?s original desires and objectives are still intact as he states, "I want to end up a farmer on some tropical island playing my guitar under a coconut tree." "I think it all ends up back to that if you really think about it, although the fame and the success are great, it?s about the process of achieving that state, not the goal, or awards, or accolades of the people." He continues, "Music teaches you about your own life and how it relates to life, the universe and everything. Good music is designed to harmonize mind and body. The trappings of fortune and fame are not the objectives, but merely the by-products along the way. I believe we are on this planet to learn and grow as souls." proclaiming in his cosmic, confident manner, "That?s why I?m here, that?s why I came..."