8.4.13 – Awesome August – Cool New Stuff – August will be Awesome…


I have been having a blast playing with old high school acquaintance, Jaems Murphy – talented guitarist.  Our project has revolved around playing pop, jazz, and originals with marimba and guitar!  These two sounds mixed together creates a wonderful relaxing atmosphere that is perfect as live background music for private events, while also being a great visually appealing improvisatory performance for a crowd. 🙂

Make a cup of tea and give this a listen! http://michaelneumeyerjaemsmurphy.wordpress.com/music-2/



Remember the last blog?  I received some really cool pictures back from Dal Van Minsel; he worked some artistic magic on some pictures of the marimba resonators.  Thank You Dale!

Check these out:

“Marimba” – Dale Van Minsel Marimba

“Eclipse” – Dale Van Minsel





7.29.13 – July was Fun


Above is my setup for “Shrek! The Musical,” in which I performed percussion during the Port Washington Summer Theatre Production.  This performance was very fun because it was a newer musical.  These newer parts tend to have a lot of genres mixed together, hence the many different percussion instruments in my setup.  I love playing djembe, so having those grooves to play (with a foot pedal tambourine) was probably the highlight of this setup/music.


Earlier in the month of July I did perform at an Art Gallery in Port Washington, WI as well.  This was for Gallery 224 for their photography show to start off the year.  I was playing background music and taking requests as well.  Many Beatles tunes, Jazz standards, originals, and improvisations.

While there, I had the pleasure of meeting Dale Van Minsel – who then helped me set up my marimba as well as took some great photos of it!  Please check out Dale’s work!




Lastly, for this post:  I have started to work the the Cudahy Marching Band and acted as the Summer Drumline Coach!  We participated in the Cudahy Fourth of July Parade as well as the South Shore Frolic Parade.  Parades are fun!  They bring me back.  The Cudahy students have taught me a lot and I look forward to working more with them!

See you next post. 🙂


6.29.13 – Official Report: Mike Neumeyer & Friends #8 is GREAT!



Click for a funny “Mike Neumeyer” sketch.  That’s what happens at Mike Neumeyer events!


Speaking of, “Mike Neumeyer & Friends #8” was a great day and a great success.  The weather turned out perfect and the show went off without a hitch.  Thanks to everyone of the friends involved!  It feels so great to have gone eight years with that event!  Thank you everyone for coming out to watch!

Please check out some clips on YouTube if you missed out!  Like this tune by James Murphy:



Check my events page for upcoming performances in August!

Best of summer to all,




5.1.13 – Upcoming Mike Neumeyer Events!

Please check out this sample recording of me jamming to a Beatles tune:


Please check out this amazing project (I am part of The East Side Chamber Players, read on about this creative composition collaboration! Whoa!  Alliteration… ):
The East Side Chamber Players is working on a project that is donation-funded.  ESCP is embarking on a unique musical collaboration with the Milwaukee Math and Science Academy and local composers. In this project, ESCP is commissioning composers to bring to life poetry written by MMSA elementary students, allowing the students and the surrounding community the opportunity to hear the creative thoughts of these remarkable young people through original musical compositions. The students will also create artwork that corresponds with their poetry, further engaging their self-expression and artistic talent. The compositions will be recorded in Spring 2013 and performed by ESCP musicians at Milwaukee Math and Science Academy and ESCP’s November 2013 concert.

We are using a Kickstarter campaign to reach our goal to pay for the costs of recording and paying the composers.  Although we have reached our minimum goal, we are working toward a new goal of recording in a professional studio and including students in the process.  If you are able, we would appreciate any donations you can offer.  The link to the project is http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/910246324/opus-110-a-musical-journey-through-student-poetry?ref=email.  Please share this project with family and friends!

Upcoming Mike Neumeyer Events:
THURSDAY, MAY 23RD, 7PM – Oak Creek High School Little Theatre, Oak Creek, WI:
Voirimba! – fundraiser for Oak Creek High School Band Program
– fun for all ages, great for hanging out with friends
– great music provided by Mike playing with Oak Creek Marching Band Staff and other guest artists
– marimba and many instruments including flute, horn, trumpet, trombone, guitar – maybe more!  Jazz, classical, pop, rock… with marimba? 🙂

SUNDAY, JUNE 23RD, 6:30PM – Veteran’s Memorial Park, Port Washington, WI
Mike Neumeyer & Friends #8 – the eighth annual Mike Neumeyer & Friends!
– bandshell, jazz in the park setting with many friends who play very well
– fun atmosphere with a beautiful scene of Lake Michigan while you listen and watch

Not much going on for the summer yet, but maybe I’ll see you out there!



3.3.13 – Marimba & Voice Album/Mike Neumeyer Review by Graham Marlowe

I, Mike Neumeyer, am proud to present the beautiful and talented writing of Graham Marlowe; depicting my own “Assorted Mallets” – one of the few albums that exist with solo works for marimba and voice.  Another album is definitely on the books for the future, so keep the radar out for more recordings from Mike Neumeyer & Friends.

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Album Review: “Assorted Mallets: Selections by Michael Neumeyer”

Written by Graham Marlowe
On a clear day, you can see forever…or so goes the title of that jazz song/musical. Milwaukee-area percussionist/composer Michael Neumeyer, a native of Port Washington, would know exactly what this phrase means…especially since the vast, seemingly endless shores of Lake Michigan are something he grew up sincerely appreciating.

And while that heavenly sky-blue horizon doesn’t always fit the character of Neumeyer’s music, it makes for a uniquely soothing backdrop to the strongest compositions of the composer’s mostrecent compilation, Assorted Mallets: Selections by Michael Neumeyer.

Despite drawing heavy influence(s) from jazz, progressive rock, and avant-classical music, Neumeyer’s compositions have a dreamy, almost hypnotic quality that blurs the line between jazz and classical in ways most ears are unaccustomed to. This is especially true of his marimba/voice songs, a genre so rare you’d think he created it based on his songs’ lulling beauty.

Replete with percussive ostinato patterns, reflective lyrics, and icy-hot modal motifs, the songs’ omega points often arrive when Neumeyer’s calming voice harmonizes gently yet powerfully with the slight dissonance resonating from the wooden bars beneath him. Tracks like “Night of Mourning” and “Freezing Snow”, positively speaking, would sound somewhat lost in time to a modern audience.

Such tracks evoke images of Victorian parlors and 19th-century American short stories with their minor-key themes and meditative poetry regarding “forgetfulness divine” (“The Power of Music”) and the “silent conversation[s]” of his past (“Years of Silence”). Neumeyer’s lyrics are not ancient poetry, but their enlightened viewpoint — combined with his command of the instrument — makes for an unusual, frequently arresting result.

At worst, tracks like “Flying Dreams” are a right-field blend of Disney, Chinese classical and video game music that’s as accessible as it is memorable. In others, like in the East-meets-West modality of “The Power of Music”, Neumeyer’s melismatic vocals are followed by a segment showcasing his chops as an improviser. Those with a thirst for the experimental will appreciate the intro to “Years of Silence”, wherein the composer combines a spacy/humorous Vibratone improv with Gregorian chant technique, and then segues into a subdued Latin groove.

The marimba/voice pairings are certainly Neumeyer’s specialty, but Assorted Mallets whisks listeners away in a variety of ways, thanks to his other talents as an instrumentalist

A tour de force for the compilation, the masterful solo vibraphone of “Skies of a Landless Horizon” is sure to lower the blood pressure of even the most impatient listener. The track’s simple, Impressionism brings to mind Keith Jarrett’s immaculate, all-improvised Koln Concert from 1975 as Neumeyer slowly builds a gorgeous, sometimes cinematic canvas of sound…coaxing the instrument’s vibrato wheel and forming a balmy, harmonious haze. Needless to say, after three deceptively short minutes the listener hungers for more.

At times the music graces the edge of kitsch, though it is always in good fun. For instance, “Jazz or Jass” and “June” — mostly-improvised jazz combo pieces — would sound right at home with the deftly-arranged, mostly unserious world of ‘70s TV themes. Conversely, “Beatboxin’ It” is a spitting image of the Phish catalog’s beloved, vaguely psychedelic a cappella oddities — a guilty pleasure for nearly any music fan, with an emphasis on pleasure.

This collection may not represent the extent of Neumyer’s talent(s), though it’s a worthwhile introduction to the composer’s stylistic diversity and ambitions.

The music’s back-and-forth oscillations from melancholic introspection to blissful joy are often and varied, minus how the composer’s brand of bone-dry humor is more a feature of his live performances than his recordings.

Neumeyer, like much of the up-and-coming talent today, sounds best suited for the mid-to-late ‘70s: an era where jazz and classical world began an ugly affair that spawned a series of commercially viable weirdness.

2.8.13 – Two Thousand Thirteen Has Started!

Looking forward to 2013 here… oh my gosh it already started!

Mike Neumeyer will be making an appearance at Lincoln Elementary School in March of 2013!  It is going to be so much fun to make those kids laugh and experience a marimba!

Spring Green Comm Library 7-18-12 (4)

Also coming up are performances with Knightwind Ensemble and Racine Choral Arts.

Furthermore, 2013 has the second annual Voirimba! (fundraiser for Oak Creek High School Marching Knights) and of course Mike Neumeyer & Friends #8!

More will build up and I will keep you updated – BOOM 2013.

12.1.12 – New Website

This is the new website in design!  It will be a project that will take a while… (maybe some people won’t even read this…) 🙂

November was fun – I performed with the Knightwind Ensemble and at MAC&A #5!  The Knightwind ensemble is a very talented group of players dedicated to the best of wind ensemble literature.


MAC&A#5 is the fifth meeting of a group of composers in Milwaukee – check us out!


I am still working on compositions and recordings.  Folks have been contacting me for composition reasons which keeps me happily busy!  Keep a lookout for new pieces and more availability!


10.16.12 – October: I want to carve a pumpkin :)

Check out this video from this summer of my amazing accordion player/friend: Robert Sacharski! (WARNING: starts with lame joke by me)


Marching season has come to an end and the Oak Creek Marching Knights absolutely ROCKED!  (to me that means they played very musically and got into it!)

I am still working on a clarinet/flute duet for the up and coming duo: The Duetto Project.  Check them out!


I am also working on a marimba/strings/voice work for the East Side Chamber Players!

Check them out!


I am playing with the Knightwind Ensemble and we will be playing at the WMEA Convention in Madison on October 25th.  Check us out!


8.8.12 – Boom. August.

BOOM.  August.  Click below for a video interview of Mike Neumeyer: made by George Christensen of the organization, RAW, when I played for them last month.


Last month I had a wonderful time traveling around Wisconsin to Antigo, Spring Green, and Madison for a mini-tour!  I really have a fun time working with the mixture of ages that visit library programs and these last two library showcases were definitely successful.  I love seeing eyes open and jaws drop when I play the magnificent marimba – and I giggle myself when an audience of children and their parents get to watch me play an inflatable saxophone! 🙂

Thank you to Brenda Francis at Spring Green Public Library and Anna Krueger at Antigo Public Library for these wonderful opportunities!

The RAW showcase in Madison was great as well!  It was different performing marimba and voice on a stage all “mic’d” (get it?) – but it was a very positive experience with great supportive comments from the audience!  Thank you Miera Kookasemkit and all others at RAW for that opportunity!

In the future for Mike Neumeyer seems to be pointing towards composition.  Keep your radar out for a new piece for clarinet and flute duet, a piece for marimba, strings, and voices, and of course more material for solo marimba.  I do plan on writing music without voice to create a relaxation album.

Other than that, I will be working with the Oak Creek Marching Knights Pit section.  A bunch of mallet instruments and auxiliary percussion in front of a marching band – it is like a dream come true to be able to work with that group!  Thank you Amy Fuchs and Guy Gregg 🙂

See everyone around!


Whoa!  Hello July!  Hope all who are reading this are well 🙂

We just had the great experience of “Mike Neumeyer & Friends #7! In case you don’t know, I started MN&F seven years ago to bring friends together to collaborate on musical compositions, arrangements, and projects.  It is a “jazz in the park” show setting at the Veterans Memorial Park Band Shell in Port Washington, WI.  It always turns out to be a very eclectic mixture of music and art – this year we had an accordion medley, Irish music and dancing, poetry/vibraphone/dancing, marimba & euphonium duet, Adele marimba/voice cover, Gotye ensemble arrangement, country, jazz, funk, and more.  On top of everything- there were many puns made on stage.


I am playing a small “tour” next week on July 17th and 18th.  First, I am traveling up to Antigo, WI to play at the Antigo Public Library!  The next day, I drive down to Spring Green, WI to play at the Spring Green Community Library!  Finally, the night of the 18th, I will be playing at The Majestic Theatre in Madison, WI as part of a RAW Showcase called “MIXOLOGY!”  The first two shows of the tour are free for people who attend – but I need to sell twenty tickets for the RAW show in Madison.  Please help and purchase a ticket using the link below! 🙂  See you all on the “tour!”


Mike Neumeyer: Composer, Educator, Percussionist, Marimba & Voice