The Ferryboat Harpist

Celtic harpist David Michael is an international performer, recording artist, composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist, specializing in romantic World Fusion music and free-form improvisation. He grew up in Seattle and has been playing stringed instruments most of his life. He studied cello and piano as a child, gravitated to guitar as a teenager and went on to become a singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, taking up bouzouki, viola-da-gamba, psalteries, zithers and other harp-like instruments before eventually realizing he'd been "trying to make a guitar sound like a harp" for years. In 1983 he discovered his forte, the Celtic harp, which most of his original compositions since then are based upon.

David Michael and his Celtic Harp

David is a pioneer of World Fusion music. A student of both western classical music and many worldwide styles, he seeks the common ground between many genres and has collaborated with master ethnic musicians and members of major symphonies.

Since 1990 he has resided in Port Townsend where he operates his independent record label Purnima Productions. To date he has produced 23 CDs of original music, as a solo artist, with flutist, Randy Mead, with his wife Dari and with many others. His original recordings vary in style from lively ensembles to very relaxing works designed for meditation. He’s received rave reviews and his music has been featured on syndicated radio shows, cable & network television and in films.

He became somewhat of an institution for his impromptu free concerts aboard Washington State Ferries. He played regularly on the Keystone/Port Townsend run for 17 years until “homeland security” concerns got him permanently kicked off in 2007 to the dismay of his many fans and his saga touched off a major international media storm. He has also toured Europe, performing in castles, cultural centers and in the walking streets of Scandinavia.

David currently performs in formal concerts, for multimedia book signings and is available for private events and production work. He is also a teacher, piano tuner and author with a new book published: BUSKER – Tales of a Renegade Harpist.

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