Michael Ragonese is a Los Angeles based pianist, composer, arranger, and educator. He received his Bachelors of Music in Jazz Studies at California State University Northridge, where he led jazz combos to 1st place at the Reno and Monterey Jazz Festivals, also receiving the “Best College Performer” award at the Reno Jazz Festival. In 2017, Michael took 2nd place out of 8 piano finalists across the world in Lee Ritenour's Six String Jazz competition.
Michael has performed, recorded and worked with such jazz greats as Bennie Maupin, Charnett Moffett, Alphonso Johnson, Sue Raney, John Daversa, Louise Cole, Darek Oles, Gary Pratt, Walter Smith III, David Binney, Bob Reynolds, Bob Sheppard, Gene Coye, Rick Braun, Dave Koz, and Engelbert Humperdinck. Michael has toured with Rick Braun, the Jacob Szkeley Trio, Engelbert Humberdinck, and Aubrey Logan.
In June 2019, Michael released his debut album "Day To Day" which featured Walter Smith III (saxophone), Luca Alemanno (bass), Anthony Fung (drums), and Shai Golan (saxophone) and was produced by Josh Nelson. Michael continues to compose and perform his original music, as well as teach piano and music theory. The first annual Rag's School of Music recital in August 2021 featured students of all ages and skill levels, and some had the opportunity to perform with a trio.
Michael's Debut Album
DAY TO DAY
Since graduating college in 2014, Michael has continued to develop his voice as a songwriter. His unique compositions not only portray his skill in jazz, but also his ability to connect with listeners. Michael's music is complex and epic but remains accessible to all.
Michael released his first album in June 2019. He was thrilled to feature some of his favorite musicians on the album, who work wonders in bringing the music to life. The album features long-time friend Shai Golan (saxophone), Anthony Fung (drums), Luca Alemanno (bass), and Walter Smith III (tenor saxophone).
Each of the songs that will be on my first album mean something very special to me, as they each coincide with integral moments of my life. Whether they were the first songs I wrote in college or songs that I've written after learning what it truly means to express a feeling or meaning through music, they are all, in a way, a representation of my day to day life. I'm thrilled to see this project begin to come together and can't wait to share it!"
- Michael Ragonese