Composer, Producer and multi-instrumentalist
To call Michael DeVellis a supremely talented saxophone player would capture only part of his musical prowess!
To call Michael DeVellis a supremely talented saxophone player would capture only part of his musical prowess. He is a composer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist, who has been playing professionally since his teenage years. After beginning his musical training on the violin, Michael eventually shifted his focus to jazz saxophone. His composed songs stem from various diverse influences, including but not limited to classical, bebop, house, breaks, and acid jazz.
After graduating from Tufts University with a B.A. in music, Michael moved back home to New York and quickly began playing in the funk and jazz circuits. He has since gone on to play with several bands and deejays at renowned venues across the U.S. and Europe, including the Jones Beach Theater and Central Park Summer Stage in New York, the PNC Arts Center in New Jersey, the Sunset parties in San Francisco, the legendary Montuno Vibes parties in Belgium, and the OM Records party at the Winter Music Conference in Miami. He has shared the stage with Leo Nocentelli (The Meters), Oteil Burbridge (bass, Allman Brothers), Derek Trucks (lead guitar, Allman Brothers), Grammy Award nominee Susan Tedeschi, Melvin Sparks, Jason Crosby (keyboards and violin, Robert Randolph and the Family Band, Bob Weir, Phil Lesh), and many others. Michael has also played with funk/soul outfits Soleo and Drexler who have opened for such acts as Maceo Parker and Chapter 2 (Eric Krasno and Nigel Hall).
Michael also got involved in the house and breaks circuit and has played and recorded with notables as Jon Cutler, Sneak-e Pete, Jordan Vesteyo, Tommy Moye, Anthony Mansfield, Nick Chacona, Joeski, Onionz, DJ Spun, DJ Who, DJ Sun, Atomic Hooligan, Krafty Kutz, Charles Feelgood, M3, Alexi Delano, John Howard, BadboE, Quincy Jointz, and Randall Jones. Michael’s saxophone can be heard on several record labels, including SVEK, Siesta, Maya, Big Chief, Credence, and Renaissance. In 2004 Michael kicked off his own production career with the release of his first solo album, Who is Worange Drexler. The tracks are all written, played, and recorded by Michael and reflect influences from Herbie Hancock, DJ Dan, Tower of Power, Charlie Parker, DJ Shadow, The Meters, and others. The album represents the culmination of Michael’s various backgrounds in jazz, funk, classical, breaks, and trip hop, and displays his versatile talents on the alto, tenor, and baritone saxes, trumpet, flute, French horn, violin, and keyboards.
Several of these tunes are also featured on Blunted Funk, Citrona, Groove Gravy, and Straight Up Recordings. His track Post Boogie was featured on the national radio show The Groove Boutique.
Michael also started his own record label called Pockit Records featuring releases in the groove, funk, down-tempo, and soul genres. Michael has gone on to produce tracks for Om Records, Moodymanc, Timewarp, Blunted Funk Records, and most recently Breakbeat Paradise Recordings.
Presently Michael is playing saxophone, flute, violin, and EWI with the funk/soul/pop powerhouse group Heylady (heyladymusic.com). They are about to release their debut LP on May 14th, 2013. Heylady has shared the stage with such groups a George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic, Grammy Award Winners Rebirth Brass Band, Motet, Breakestra, and others. Michael has also teamed up with Sunship Films composing tracks for various projects for: NBC, The Michael Awards (for the fashion industry), Disney’s Fairytale Weddings, Wendy’s, Guess, Nickelodeon, and others. Later this spring Michael will begin composing the original score for the upcoming short film Dahlhouse from Sunship Films (Jason Bennett- Director).