Michael Shrieve

Music prompts us to respond with open-heartedness instead of judgment. It ushers us to a higher place from where we can see beyond distractions to what is true and good and lasting. If musicians accept this responsibility, they can change the world.


Spring of 2016 marks the release of Santana IV, the wildly anticipated studio album that reunites the revered early ‘70s lineup of guitar icon Carlos Santana (lead guitar, vocals), Gregg Rolie (keyboards, lead vocals), Neal Schon (guitar, vocals), Michael Carabello (percussion) and Michael Shrieve (drums). The album signifies the first time in 45 years – since 1971’s multi-platinum classic Santana III – that the quintet has recorded together.

Santana IV features 16 all-new tracks written and produced by the band. They burst with the same unparalleled energy and superlative musicianship that made Santana a pioneering force in world music and a household name across the globe. Joining the core Santana IV band in the studio are current Santana members Karl Perazzo (percussion) and Benny Rietveld (bass), with the legendary vocalist Ronald Isley guesting on two cuts.

In addition to the new album, the Santana IV reunion concert in Las Vegas was taped and televised. A two-hour DVD of this extraordinary performance is available. The band also performed three east coast concerts, one at Madison Square Garden, as part of the album launch.

Few bands can pick up a musical dialog after 45 years apart, but on Santana IV each band member reaches a new level of virtuosity and communal intuition on a collection of songs that easily stands side-by-side with the group’s treasured early work.

“When you can go back and break new ground with joy and determination – and some whoop-ass energy – it gets you going,” says Santana. “I think we achieved something very rare. This music was screaming to come out of us. It wasn’t about nostalgia. It was about passion.”





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 Live at ToST is the group’s debut recording that resulted from Michael’s stint as artist-in-residence in 2008 at the iconic Seattle music venue.




Trilon is a free-form jazz-groove project carved out of a rare day of relaxed but rigorous jamming at Stone Gossard’s Studio Litho in Seattle. Like all great music, this recording started with chemistry. A tribe of experimental risk-takers in the late-night scene at Seattle clubs explored uncharted terrain backed by a fat percussive groove laid down by Michael Shrieve, who was also the producer and creative force.

The mix and improvisations were generated by this group of mates as they organically searched for a modern electrified application of the improvisatory principles of Miles Davis in the 1960s and Bill Laswell in the 1990s. Despite the influence of these two artists, Trilon sounds like neither and is altogether unique.

Michael invited a stellar cast of geniuses to join his project: Skerik, the saxophone maestro known for his work with Critters Buggin, Garage A Trois, Les Claypool, Marco Benevento, and his own Bandelabra; keyboard and loop-guru Reggie Watts, the globally recognized comedian/musician whom GQ calls “a comic genius;” Brad Houser, bassist for David Garza, Edie Brickell and Critters Buggin; Mike Dillon, percussion radical and indie-jazz icon behind the Mike Dillon Band; James “Roto” Rotondi, the guitarist/synthesist for Mr. Bungle and The Grassy Knoll; and Brian Siskind, a.k.a. Good Rester and Fognode, who’s the re-mixer, composer and stereo sculptor.

Trilon is far beyond these individuals playing and experimenting together. It’s equally about the space between them, and the time between its early creation and its eventual unfolding. 

Trilon was produced by Michael Shrieve and co-produced and re-mixed by Brian Siskind.






Michael Shrieve will soon release the most important and personal project of his post-Santana career, Drums of Compassion, an album he has worked on for over 10 years. Michael states that it reflects “the height of my awareness, bringing forward to the public my sense of being a spiritual man.”

The music defies categorization, in the most gorgeous way. Some call it ambient world music, others call it deep new age. Whatever the label, Drums of Compassion is layer upon layer of percussion, drum, voice and melody created by musical masters pointing to the truth.

Michael started the project by asking himself a question: “What kind of music would I like to listen to at 2:00 in the morning, music that’s composed by a drummer?”

“Recording started with only two of us – Jeff Greinke, the phenomenal ambient synth player, and me playing 16 tom toms that surrounded me while I stood in the middle and made them rumble and sing. After these elements were laid down, I asked my friends to participate and add their layers of talent and sensitivity.”

These “friends” whom Michael invited to contribute to Drums of Compassion happen to be some of the world’s finest musicians. Among them are Babatunde Olatunji, Amon Tobin, Jack DeJohnette; Airto Moriera, Zakir Hussain, Pete Lockett, Trey Gunn and Skerik. 

Since its inception a decade ago, Michael knew he would call the recording Drums of Compassion, a play on the title of Nigerian percussion master Babatunde Olatunji’s seminal album, 1960’s Drums of Passion. The long gestation has made this addition to Michael Shrieve’s legacy that much more inspiring.

Drums of Compassion was produced by Michael Shrieve and co-produced and engineered by Eric Awes.