born on 19/9/1954 in New Orleans, LA, United States
Michael Blieden Wolff (born July 31, 1952) is an American jazz pianist, composer, producer, vocalist, and educator. He was honored as a Steinway Artist and obtained a Broadcast Music Incorporated award. He also won an award at the Hamptons International Film Festival.
Wolff began his music career performing in Cal Tjader's band. He went onto become the musical director for jazz singer Nancy Wilson who introduced him to Arsenio Hall, and the latter of which he served as the bandleader for his FOX prime-time talk show, which broadcast from 1989-94. Wolff provided the score and co-produced The Tic Code (1999). He also co-starred and produced the music for the film The Naked Brothers Band (2005), winning him an Audience Award for Family Feature Film at the Hamptons International Film Festival. By early 2007 it became the pilot to the Nickelodeon musical comedy series of the same name, which he co-starred in and earned a BMI Cable Award for producing the series' music. Wolff was the leader of the jazz band Impure Thoughts which featured Indian tabla player Badal Roy, drummer Mike Clark, percussionist Frank Colón and electric bassist John B. Williams. Reconstructed as Wolff & Clark Expedition, it is a jazz-funk group consisting of Wolff and Clark as band leaders, with Steve Wilson and Lenny Pickett as saxophonists, and James Genus as the bassist. Wolff currently teaches jazz music at universities in New York City and performs at various jazz clubs in Manhattan and across the United States with his new band.
Wolff married actress Polly Draper after meeting her when she was a guest on The Arsenio Hall Show. He and Draper have two sons Nat Wolff and Alex Wolff who starred in and wrote the music for The Naked Brothers Band film and series which was created, produced, written, and directed by Draper. Wolff's wife wrote and co-starred in The Tic Code which was influenced by his life with Tourette syndrome. He serves on the Board of Directors at the Tourette Syndrome Association (TSA), and is involved in mentoring children with Tourette's through the chapters of the TSA.
Childhood and family life
Wolff was born in Victorville, California and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. His family is culturally Jewish and his father, Marvin, was a medical doctor, treating Elvis Presley when the Wolffs' settled in Memphis, Tennessee. At age nine his family moved to Berkeley, California. Wolff began studying classical piano at age eight, and drums at age 12. He had begun playing piano with the University of California Jazz Ensembles under the direction of Dr. David W. Tucker while attending Berkeley High School. After graduating from high school, Wolff attended the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) before enrolling in the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
Wolff's biological mother, Lise, remarried psychiatrist Neal Blumenfeld (Wolff's step father), who died on December 1, 2013. He also has two step siblings named Mimi and Judy.
Wolff left college in 1972 to begin his music career, joining Cal Tjader's band. He then joined Cannonball Adderley's band in 1975. In 1977 he formed the band Answering Service with saxophonist Alex Foster. Wolff worked with other famous artists including Warren Zevon, The Thad Jones/ Mel Lewis Orchestra, Sonny Rollins, Wayne Shorter, Jean-Luc Ponty, Children On The Corner, Terri Lyne Carrington, Tony Williams, and Christian McBride. Wolff composed and played original musicand served as hostfor the Riverside Shakespeare Company production of The Mandrake in New York City, featuring Tom Hanks in 1975.
In 1978, singer Nancy Wilson chose Wolff as her musical director. Arsenio Hall was Wilson's opening act, and in 1989, when Hall was given his own talk show, Wolff was chosen to serve as its bandleader and musical director. He met his wife, actress Polly Draper, when she appeared as a guest on the show. In 1995 he released Jumpstart featuring Christian McBride and Tony Williams and in 1997 the trio released 2AM. Wolff was the leader of the jazz band Impure Thoughts which features Indian tabla player Badal Roy, drummer Mike Clark, percussionist Frank Colón and electric bassist John B. Williams.
He wrote music for the films Who's the Man? and Made up, as well as writing for and performing in other films. A movie released on video in 1999The Tic Code starring Gregory Hines as a saxophone player with Tourette syndrome who befriends a young boy also with Tourette'swhich was written by Draper and loosely based on Wolff's life. Wolff contributed the score and Draper co-stars in the film. Wolff co-starred in The Naked Brothers Band on Nickelodeon with his sons, Nat and Alex, who wrote and performed the music. The show was created, executive produced, written, and directed by Polly Draper. Wolff was the co-executive producer and music supervisor of the show.
Wolff oftens plays in various nightclubs in Manhattan, including the Knickerbocker Bar and Grill, performing with members of the Michael Wolff Trio, such as drummer Victor Jones and bass player John B. Williams. He is on the faculty at The New School For Jazz And Contemporary Music and recently formed a new band called Wolff & Clark Expedition, a jazz-funk group consisting of Wolff and Clark as band leaders, with Steve Wilson and Lenny Pickett as saxophonists, and James Genus as the bassist. Wolff currently teaches jazz music at universities in New York City and performs at various jazz clubs in Manhattan and across the United States with his new band.
- 1993 Michael Wolff (Columbia Jazz)
- 1995 Jumpstart! (Jimco/Cabana)
- 1996 2AM (Cabana)
- 1998 Portraiture: The Blues Period (Fuel 2000/Varese Saraband)
- 2000 The Tic Code Soundtrack (Razor And Tie)
- 2001 Impure Thoughts (Indianola Music)
- 2003 Intoxicate (Indianola Music)
- 2003 Christmas Moods (Artemis)
- 2003 Getting Into Heaven Soundtrack
- 2004 Dangerous Vision (Artemis Records)
- 2005 Sexual Healing (3D)
- 2006 Love & Destruction (Wrong Records)
- 2007 jazz, JAZZ, jazz (Wrong Records)
- 2009 Joe's Strut (Wrong Records)
- 2011 Detroit Dozen (Wrong Records)
With Cal Tjader
- 1972 Live At Concerts By The Sea (Fantasy)
- 1999 Last Bolero In Berkeley (Fantasy)
- 2008 Best Of Cal Tjader: Live At The Monterey Jazz Festival 1958-1980 (Monterey Jazz Festival)
- 1973 Tambu (Fantasy)
With Cannonball Adderley
- 1975 Phenix (Fantasy)
- 1975 Volume One: Montreal 1975 (Essential Media Group)
With Tom Harrell
- 1975 Aurora (Adamo/Pinnacle)
- 1976 Bird Gets The Worm (Adamo/Pinnacle)
With Sonny Rollins
- 1977 Live At The Village Gate (Bootleg)
With Nancy Wilson
- 1979 Live In Munich
- 1982 At My Best (ASI)
- 1991 With My Lover Beside Me (Columbia)
With David Axelrod
- 1993 Requiem - The Holocaust (Liberty)
- 2003 The Big Country (Stateside)
With Warren Zevon
- 1995 Mutineer (Giant)
- 2002 My Ride's Here (Artemis)
With Children On The Corner
- 2003 Rebirth (Sonance) 
With Alex Foster
- 1997 Pool Of Dreams (Truspace)
With Dave Samuels
- 1998 Tjaderized (Verve) 
- 2001 Pastiche (Summit)
With Sam Morrison
- 2005 Miles Away (Convalian)
|1999||The Tic Code||Engineer #2||Also co-producer and wrote original score|
|2005||The Naked Brothers Band: The Movie||Dad||Also contributed the underscore and produced and arranged the music|
|2007||The Girl In The Park||Jazz Club Piano Player|
|Year||Program or series||Role||Notes|
|1989-1994||The Arsenio Hall Show||Himself||Bandleader and musical director|
|1990||Beverly Hills, 90210||Duane||"Every Dream Has Its Price (Tag)" episode|
|2007-2009||The Naked Brothers Band||Dad/Mr. Wolff/Sonny Wolff||Also co-executive producer, music producer, and music supervisor|
Honors and awards
Wolff was honored as a Steinway Artist in June 2006. The Tic Code won awards at the Berlin International Film Festival, the Giffoni Film Festival and the Hamptons International Film Festival. Wolff and sons won the 2007 BMI Film and TV Award for the music on The Naked Brothers Band (TV series).
- 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Michael Wolff / Impure Thoughts Biography. Oldies.com. Retrieved on 20 May 2011.
- 2.0 2.1 list Of New School Instrumental department faculty. Retrieved 23 May 2011
- 3.0 3.1 Michael Wolff (I) Filmography. IMDb.com. Retrieved on 20 May 2011.
- 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Michael Wolff. Retrieved on 12 January 2006.
- 5.0 5.1 Nickelodeon's New TEENick Series The Naked Brothers Band to Bow With Star-Studded TV Movie on Saturday, January 27, and 'Rock On' With Weekly Episodes Starting February 3., 'Digital Media Online', 27 January 2007.
- 6.0 6.1 Smason, Alan, Cleveland set to enjoy smooth jazz stylings of Michael Wolff, Cleveland Jewish News, 2006-11-02. URL accessed on 2007-02-16.
- Finances and Leadership. Tourette Syndrome Association. Retrieved on 4 January 2007.
- 8.0 8.1 Jazz Musician Michael Wolff (PDF). Tourette Syndrome Association. Retrieved on 4 January 2007.
- 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Michael Wolff, Pianist. MichaelWolff.com. Retrieved on 25 March 2008.
- 11.0 11.1 Houston Press Impure Thoughts bio Retrieved on 24 May 2011
-  Retrieved in 21 May 2011
- 13.0 13.1 Rebirth Sonance Records website
- Terri Lyne Carrington Discography Retrieved 24 May 2011
- Review by Jann Racquoi, Heights/Inwood Press of North Manhattan, March 14, 1979.
-  Jazz Times article Sept. 2007 Retrieved on 22 May 2011
- Michael Wolff Discography CD Universe. Retrieved on 26 May 2011
- Michale Wolff Discography CD Universe. Retrieved on 26 May 2011
- The Tic Code. IMDb.com Retrieved on 9 May 2006.
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- Magic Sticks IMDb.com Retrieved on 21 May 2011
- The Tic Code IMDb.com Retrieved on 21 May 2011
- "A TV Family Bound by Blood and a Band" NY Times Retrieved on 21 May 2011
- The Girl In The Park IMDb.com Retrieved on 21 May 2011
- "Every Dream Has Its Price IMDb.com Retrieved on 21 May 2011
- Naked Brothers Band IMDb.com Retrieved on 21 May 2011
- Awards for The Tic Code (1999). IMDb.com. Retrieved on 10 July 2006.
- Michael Wolff's website
- Michael Wolff at All About Jazz
- Michael Wolff at the Internet Movie Database
|The Naked Brothers Band|
|The Band ·TV series ·(Episodes ·Season 1 DVD ·Season 2 DVD)|
|TV Movies||The Movie ·Battle of the Bands ·Sidekicks ·Polar Bears ·Mystery Girl ·Operation Mojo ·Naked Idol ·The Premiere|
|Discography||"Crazy Car" ·"If That's Not Love"|
|Crew||Polly Draper (Creator/Executive Producer/Writer/Director) ·Michael Wolff (Co-Executive Producer/Music Supervisor/Music Producer) ·Tim Draper (Consulting Producer) ·Michael A. Levine (Music Producer) ·Melanie Mayron (Director) ·Magda Liolis (Writer)|
|Cast||Nat Wolff ·Alex Wolff ·Allie DiMeco (as Rosalina) ·David Levi ·Thomas Batuello ·Joshua Kaye (movie only) ·Cole Hawkins (movie only) ·Qaasim Middleton (show only) ·Cooper Pillot ·Michael Wolff (as Dad) ·Jesse Cook Draper (as Jesse Cook) Kristina Reyes|
|Co-Stars||Tim Draper (as Principle Schmoke)|
|Frequent Guest Stars||George Lopez|