Michael Bisio

Image of Michael Bisio
Bass instructor

Michael Bisio returned to New York in 2006 after spending 30 years on the West Coast and quickly became an integral part of the New York City creative music community. Since 2009, he has been bass instructor at Bennington College and a member of the Matthew Shipp Trio.


Bisio is a bassist for the Matthew Shipp Trio with numerous jazz recordings to his credit. His first international release, In Seattle (Silkheart), was chosen as one of the “Best Jazz Records of the 1980s” in The Village Voice, which he followed with Connections (CIMP) in 2005. In 2010 he released Session at 475 Kent (Mutable Music) with Connie Crothers. 2011 releases include Bisio’s first solo effort Travel Music (MJB) and the Matthew Shipp Trio recording, Art of the Improviser (Thirsty Ear). Floating Ice (Relative Pitch) duets with Matthew was released in 2012, followed in 2014 by Root of Things (Relative Pitch) and To Duke (Rogue Art). 2015 recordings include The Gospel according to Matthew and Michael (Relative Pitch) and Michael Bisio Accortet (Relative Pitch). 2016 saw the release of Row for William O. (Relative Pitch), duets with Kirk Knuffke.

Seminal studies in creative music processes were with Bill (William O.) Smith and Stuart Dempster. Early tenure with trumpeter Barbara Donald and saxophonist Carter Jefferson left an indelible mark on Bisio’s music and spirit. Another major influence is Joe McPhee; he and Joe have created a body of work that includes two duo CDs, Finger Wigglers and Zebulon (CIMP), in addition to more than a dozen other releases including Port of Saints (CJR), Joe Giardullo’s Shadow and Light (Drimala), and Angels, Devils & Haints, Joe McPhee and the World Bass Quartet (CJR).

Other artist collaborations include Wayne Horvitz, Charles Gayle, Bob Nell, Sunny Murray, Louie Belogenis, John Tchai, Pauline Oliveros, Vinny Golia, Julian Priester, Eyvind Kang, Diedre Murray, Rashied Ali, Jim Nolet, Saadet Turkoz, Dominic Duval, Tomas Ulrich, Oluyemi Thomas, Matthew Shipp, Karl Berger, Warren Smith, Connie Crothers, Sonny Simmons, Jay Rosen, Avram Fefer, and Stephen Gauci.

As a composer Bisio has been recognized with nine project grants from various arts organizations; in 2003, he was awarded an Artist Trust Fellowship. He has been a music instructor at Bennington since 2009.