Michael Mayo looks to jazz up Orlando with concert at Judson’s Live

(Photo provided by Dr. Phillips Center)

Male jazz singer, Michael Mayo will be performing at the Dr. Phillips Center’s newest and most intimate music room, Judson’s Live.

Judson’s Live is where atmosphere, acoustics and culinary excellence collide.

Dr. Phillips Center described the new music room as, “The attitude is low-key, highly creative and always with a stylish slant.”

“Designed with stellar acoustics in mind, artists of all genres sound their most impressive in this elevated and inviting space, surrounded by table-style seating for 150,” quoted from the Dr. Phillips Center website.

The show is set to take place on June 20-22, with performances starting at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.

Mayo was born in Los Angeles, California. LA Weekly described Mayo as, “Without a doubt the best young male jazz singer in Los Angeles.”

Mayo says he grew up in a musically inclined family. He was raised by two musician parents and was practically already experiencing what a career in music would look like.

“I was always going with them to rehearsals and gigs and recording sessions and occasionally I would go on tour with them. So, I got to see firsthand what a career in music could look like,” says Mayo.

Mayo attended the Thelonious Monk Institute of Performance. He was the third vocalist to be accepted into the 20-year program.

Mayo learned from jazz greats such as Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock. In an interview with Watermark, Mayo talks of his time studying under some of the biggest names in the jazz world.

“A lot of these amazing legends will come in and essentially, you’re theirs for the week. And they’re taking you through their own musical approach. And it’s really cool because you get to sort of see, for lack of a better metaphor, straight from the horse’s mouth, right?” says Mayo.

Mayo’s song, “You and You,” from his 2021 album “Bones,” uses lyrics that carry a heavier meaning to the jazz artist.

“All of the drama between ‘You and You’ just literally came to me out of the blue and I’m like that’s kind of something let’s follow that thread. And so the song became sort of a love letter from my ideal self to my current self. And the whole thing is, you want to reach this point of, you know, higher self, ideal self, whatever you want to call it,” says Mayo.

Mayo is a veteran international performer whose highlights include singing at the White House, the Kennedy Center and Renée Fleming’s American Voices Festival, as well as the North Sea Jazz Festival. He talks about his experience performing for President Barack Obama.

“So, they brought the student group to the White House, where we got to meet the Obamas which was very cool, and we did a little masterclass. I think it could still be on YouTube somewhere,” says Mayo.

The jazz artist is also a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community. He says when he accepted this part of himself, that his music reflected an authentic approach.

“I feel like my music has kind of my musical expression and it feels a lot more resonant with who I am. And not that the musical expression ever felt fake or anything before but now it just a lot more connected, it feels a lot more me if that makes sense,” Mayo explains.

Mayo talks of the motions he had to go through to be proud of himself.

“It became clear to me so like, by the time I learned to have shame, it’s like well I already know the truth, right? And I was sort of fortunate I mean, it’s weird to use the word fortunate in this case, but like I was fortunate in that I was never in denial within myself. I always knew and I was always honest with myself about it. I just didn’t really tell people about it,” says Mayo.

Michael Mayo will be at Judson’s Live in Orlando June 20-22. Tickets start at $35, and doors open for food and beverage service before the performances at 5:30 p.m. for the 7 p.m. show and 8:30 p.m. for the 9 p.m.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit DrPhillipsCenter.org.

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