Joan Sebastian/ Ozomatli - United States
OverviewMichael Duffy has been hooked on playing drums since the age of 12. He started in school bands, gradually progressing through the high school orchestra and jazz bands.
At 18, Michael joined The Velvet Knights drum and bugle corp. Two years later, he moved on to play with the Blue Devils. In 1991 and 1992, Michael placed in the top five for solo and ensemble competitions. Shortly after, Michael accepted a scholarship to the renowned University of North Texas to study music. At UNT, Michael used his talents not only to perform with the national champion drum line, but also to teach. In his final two years at the university, he played percussion as part of the Grammy nominated One O’Clock Lab Band. In 1998, Michael participated in the only UNT Steel Band recording under the direction of the late John Kellis.
Michael left school in 1999 and quickly found his first professional gig with saxophone player Joseph Vincelli. Eventually Michael found a comfortable spot touring and recording with Dallas’ premiere funk and R&B band Mingo Fishtrap. Soon after, he delved into studio work with several Dallas/Ft. Worth groups, including Debra Vial, Shara and Function Junction.
Michael soon moved to Austin, TX to pursue more opportunities for studio work. Diving head first into the blossoming Austin live music scene, Michael put together a Latin hip hop/fusion supergroup called La Tribu. The group included key players of Austin’s music scene. In 2001, La Tribu released “Ataca!” to criticial acclaim. Within their first year of existence, La Tribu received many accolades, including the Best World Music Award at the Austin Music Awards.
When not touring, Michael stayed busy in the studio. He played on Sony recording artist Vallejo’s debut “Into the New” and became a house musician for the famed Tequila Mockingbird Studio. Michael participated in numerous jingles for national/international companies such as Chili’s, Corona, Budweiser and several local Texas companies.
Michael’s reputation for fierce musical discipline and undeniable natural talent preceded him. He quickly became Austin’s go-to percussionist. Singers visiting from out-of-state, from places such as New York and Puerto Rico, often called on Michael to sit in on local performances.
In 2002, Michael moved to Los Angeles, CA. There he joined the Tony Award winning show “Blast”. Within a year of moving to LA, he began working with RMM artist Yari More. The following year, he was asked to join Ricardo Lemvo and Makina Loca in their tour across the U.S.. Following that tour, Michael joined four-time Grammy Award winning Mexican pop artist Joan Sebastian. In 2004, Michael toured with two-time Grammy Award winning Latin alternative band Ozomatli across the U.S. and Europe. Shortly after, Michael recorded with the Sofa Kings, the Miami-based producer for the Kumbia Kings.
Michael has toured or played with the following artists:
Norte de Havana
UNT One O'Clock Lab Band
Sofa King Loco
Ricardo Lemvo y Su Makina Loca
Groove Line Horns
Original Low Riders
Bowling For Soup