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Michael Ragonese Quartet

Michael Ragonese Quartet

Michael Ragonese, a highly accomplished jazz pianist based in Los Angeles, has over 25 years of experience in music. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Ragonese's journey with the piano began with classical music and took a turn towards jazz during his high school years. This pivotal shift led him to pursue a degree in jazz piano from California State University Northridge (CSUN). During his time at CSUN, Ragonese's talent flourished, earning him accolades such as first place in the prestigious Reno and Monterey Jazz Festivals and establishing him as an outstanding soloist.

Ragonese's career as a professional musician skyrocketed post-graduation. He became a sought- after artist, collaborating and recording with renowned figures in the industry such as Barbra Streisand, Charnett Moffett, Bennie Maupin, Mark Turner, Walter Smith III, Dave Koz, Norman Brown, Rick Braun, Alphonso Johnson, John Daversa, Tierney Sutton, Stanley Jordan, Engelbert Humperdinck, Tom Jones, Shoshana Bean, Sue Raney, Dave Binney, Bob Sheppard and more.

In 2019, Ragonese marked his debut as a band leader with the release of his album "Day to Day," featuring Walter Smith III. He released his second album, "Stracci," in August 2023. The album, named after his childhood nickname and meaning "Rags" in Italian, pays homage to his Italian roots and classical piano background. Since then, he has taken his trio on tours across the United States, visiting some of the most prestigious jazz clubs and teaching masterclasses to jazz students at several universities. Ragonese is currently planning his US & Europe tour for 2024.

Beyond his performance career, Ragonese has made significant contributions to the Los Angeles jazz community as both an educator and session leader. In 2021, he founded the Rags School of Music, offering instruction in jazz and classical music to aspiring musicians and in 2023 Michael partnered with Alex Hahn to form the "Modern Artist" program which works with high school students interested in growing their artistry and learning about a career in music. Additionally, his weekly jazz jam sessions, The Rags Session, helped to establish The Rhythm Room in Downtown LA and the York in Highland Park as prominent venues for jazz. These sessions, featuring exceptional talents such as Luca Alemanno and Mark Ferber in the house band, have become integral to the city's jazz scene, providing a platform for musicians of all levels to come together, learn, and perform. The session will now continue biweekly at Libretto in Paso Robles, CA. Through his endeavors, Ragonese continues to leave an indelible mark on the world of music, both locally and internationally.

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