Michael Shrieve



Over the course of his eminent career, Michael Shrieve has written, produced and played on albums that have sold millions of copies worldwide. As the original drummer for Santana, Michael – at age nineteen – was the youngest performer at Woodstock. He helped create the first eight albums of this seminal group, and was on the forefront of shaping a new musical era.

Michael is respected world-wide for his adventurous experimentation with the most creative and masterful musicians. No other drummer has collaborated with such longevity and sophistication alongside artists in such diverse genres as rock, jazz, electronic, DJ and world music. He is well recognized for his groundbreaking adoption of electronic percussion when it was a new medium in the 1970s.

Michael’s recording credits include the masters of popular and avant-garde music – Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones, George Harrison, Pete Townsend, Steve Winwood, Police guitarist Andy Summers, film composer Mark Isham, and such musical luminaries as John Mclaughlin, Stomu Yamash’ta, Klaus Schulze, Freddie Hubbard, Jaco Pastorius, Wayne Horvitz, Bill Frisell, Zakir Hussain, Airto Moriera and Amon Tobin. Many notable publications have cited Michael’s outstanding work: The New York Times, Downbeat, Billboard, Modern Drummer, Musician, Drum, Paris Match, Melody Maker, and Life Magazine.

Michael Shrieve also composes music for film and television. He worked with the director Paul Mazursky on the film, “The Tempest,” and scored music for Curtis Hanson’s “The Bedroom Window,” as well as numerous television movies and shows. In 2002 Michael wrote and produced the song, “Aye Aye Aye,” with Carlos Santana, which appeared on the album, “Shaman.” Rolling Stone magazine acknowledged it as one of the songs that “leaps out of the album, joyful and organic without calculation,” and achieves “globe-spanning euphoria.”

Michael continues to strive for innovative approaches to percussion-based music, and records with both renowned and emerging artists (Skerik, Jack DeJohnette, Zakir Hussain, Reggie Watts), in addition to his own band, Tangletown.

Since 1990, Michael has participated in Seattle’s Bumbershoot Festival as host, performer and curator of the popular “Bumberdrum,” which brings together a stage full of the many percussionists participating in this world-class annual art and music festival. Michael was the Musical Director for the pre-game show of Major League Baseball’s 2001 All Star Game hosted by the Seattle Mariners, which involved over 80 drummers and dancers representing numerous countries.

Michael is the past President of the Pacific Northwest Branch of the National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS), and is currently writing the memoirs of jazz drumming legend Elvin Jones. He serves as Musical Director for Seattle Theater Group’s “More Music @ The Moore,” a program that highlights gifted young musicians from Seattle’s various cultural groups.

Michael Shrieve currently lives in Seattle and Los Angeles. He continues to work on projects that are both groundbreaking and soul-filled. In 2006 he will release a musical collaboration entitled, “Drums of Compassion,” for which he is composer, producer and drummer. It brings together some of the world’s most respected percussionists and musicians: Obo Addy, African Drums; Jack De Johnette, Drums; Jeff Greinke, Keyboards, Sound Sculpture and Composer; Zakir Hussain, Tabla; Airto Moriera, Brazilian Percussion; BC Smith, Orchestral Arrangements; James Whiton, Bass.

Michael Shrieve was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. In 2005, Michael received the Guitar Center’s first annual “Lifetime Achievement Award.”

I owe Michael a lot; He’s the one who turned me onto John Coltrane and Miles Davis. I just wanted to play blues until Michael came. He opened my eyes and my ears and my heart to a lot of things. Some drummers only have chops, but Michael Shrieve has vision. Michael is like a box of crayons; he has all the colors.
Carlos Santana


Michael Shrieve’s Spellbinder is a majestic instrumental band of the first order. The group achieves an unlikely mix of propulsive rock with cool jazz. Only the finest musicianship could allow the sound to coalesce so beautifully into flowing experimentation that is altogether distinctive.

This inspired quintet takes its name from guitarist Gabor Szabo’s tune, which is best known from its brief appearance at the end of Santana’s hit, “Black Magic Woman.” Shrieve’s unit consists of blazing guitarist Danny Godinez, trumpeter Raymond Larsen offering a taste of 70s-era Miles, Hammond B3 organist/magician Joe Doria, and bassist phenom Farko Dosumov—all among the finest of Seattle’s musicians.

Michael Shrieve hopes to take Spellbinder on the road. Playing live nourishes his soul in a different way than does studio recording. As Michael says, “the name Spellbinder reminds me of what my job is: to be a spiritual man who inspires listeners through music, to cast a spell with trance-inducing rhythms that transports listeners to a new place, one that is more free and open.”

Michael Shrieve’s Spellbinder, released in 2016, is the band’s studio recording of original compositions and homages (with trumpet by John Fricke).


Michael Shrieve’s Spellbinder. Miri Jazz Festival. Borneo/Malaysia. 2010 fpNuhjDv2nQ
Michael Shrieve’s Spellbinder. Miri Jazz Festival. Borneo/Malaysia. 2010 fpNuhjDv2nQ
Michael Shrieve’s Spellbinder – Every Step of the Way gGwxBHEnzPw
Michael Shrieve’s Spellbinder – They love me 15 feet away WijqZt33zZA



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Yosuke Yamashita Trio

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Solo Projects

Michael Shrieve’s Spellbinder
Live at Tost
Micahel Shrieve
with Bill Frisell and Wayne Horvitz
Two Doors
Michael Shrieve
with Jonas Hellborg and Shawn Lane
with M. Isham, D.Torn, A. Summers & Terje Gevelt
The Leaving Time
Michael Shrieve
with Steve Roach
The Big Picture
Shrieve, David Beal with Klaus Schulze & Kevin Shrieve


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C. Santana

Santana IV
Greatest Hits
Love Devotion and Surrender
Santana III

Music samples




  • Interview American Music.  On November 4th, legendary drummer Michael Shrieve launched a new show on Jet City Stream called Notes From The Field. Every week, Michael will chat with local and national artists, musicians, chefs, designers and all manner of interesting people to find out what makes them tick.

    On January 6th at 9am on Jet City Stream, Michael will speak to his former bandmate and fellow traveler, Carlos Santana. From their first record together to new projects, Michael expanding Carlos’ mind with excursions into Miles and Coltrane, these two Hall Of Famers have HISTORY. How much? Check out a visual tour of their time together:

  • Michael Shrieve’s Spellbinder, an elegant jam band of the first order that mixes rock with jazz in equal and exciting measure. This beautifully conceived quintet takes its name from guitarist Gabor Szabo’s tune, which is best known from its brief appearance at the end of Santana’s hit, “Black Magic Woman.” Shrieve’s unit contains trumpeter John Fricke, offering a taste of 70s-era Miles, organist Joe Doria, guitarist Danny Godinez and bassist Farko Dosumov—all fellow Seattle residents. The band has a standing Monday night gig at the Seattle club Tost, where this exceptionally fine performance was recorded during February 2008.

  • VOICES OF LATIN ROCK.  Music ripples from one musician to another, like jungle drums, the architecture of music is disseminated against the current and the music passed on but not over. The true musician is a servant of all he has been and heard and seeks to develop his craft within these walls and also to break down these walls.