ABOUT MICHAEL RAGONESE
Michael Ragonese is a highly accomplished pianist based in Los Angeles, with over 25 years of experience playing the piano. With a foundation in classical piano, Michael began learning jazz in high school and went on to earn his degree in jazz piano at California State University Northridge. During that time, he had the opportunity to win first place in the Reno and Monterey Jazz Festivals, and earned the recognition as an extraordinary soloist that would set the stage for his forthcoming career.
Michael has since become a sought-after musician, touring, performing, and recording with some of the most notable names in the music industry, such as Barbara Streisand, Dave Koz, Charnett Moffett, Walter Smith III, Mark Turner, Bennie Maupin, Engelbert Humperdinck, Rick Braun, Aubrey Logan, Grace Kelly, Bob Sheppard, and more.
Michael released his debut album as a leader, Day to Day featuring Walter Smith III, in 2019 and has taken his trio on tour to some of the most prestigious jazz clubs in the US. His upcoming album Stracci, meaning "Rags" in Italian, is Michael's take on a self-titled album - paying tribute to his Italian heritage and childhood nickname, and featuring songs that incorporate his roots as a classical pianist.
Beyond his own performance and composition, Michael has made a significant impact on the Los Angeles jazz community both as an educator and a session leader. His school Rags School of Music, founded in 2021, has become a prominent training ground for some of the brightest young musicians in Los Angeles. The Rags Session weekly jam session at The Rhythm Room in Downtown LA has quickly become a staple of the jazz community. Featuring the exceptional talents of Luca Alemanno and Mark Ferber alongside Michael in the house band, these sessions are a must-attend event for music enthusiasts. The sessions are consistently packed with an audience eager to listen to the music or get on stage themselves. Michael has created an environment where jazz rookies and masters alike can come and have a great time with their peers.