Topical Currents Theme Music Composer Mike Levine
Mike Levine is the composer behind the Topical Currents and South Florida Arts Beat theme music. His biography from www.mikelevinemusic.com:
Pianist Mike Levine is a man of many talents whose career is a blend of different aspects of music. He attended the University of Miami where he studied piano with Vince Maggio. Here at the UM, that Mike formed a group with Billy Ross. They released their first album “That Summer Something” in 1981, which featured Pat Metheny as a guest artist. Mike wrote the majority of the bands compositions. The recording earned national recognition for them and stayed on the top ten contemporary Jazz (AOR) charts for six weeks. Subsequently they recorded “Humidity” which also did well. The Ross-Levine Band was the opening act for Michael Franks, Gato Barberi, Dionne Warwick, and many others.
Levine can be found on Michael Bolton’s “Vintage”; Geraldo Flores “Junto A Ti”; Jaco Pastorius Big Band “Word of Mouth Revisited”, “The Word is Out”; Less DeMerle’s “Live At The Jazz Corner Volume 1 and 2”; Ed Calle’s “Sunset Harbor”, “Double Talk”; Billy Ross’s “The Sound”, “Woody”, on Fantasy Records; Duffy Jackson’s “Swing, Swing” as well as Raul Di Blasio’s “Solo”, “Piano America”, “El Tiempo de Amor”; Bertin Osborne “Soledad”, “Tu Me Acostumbraste”; Lucia “Yo”; Ricardo Montanier “Una Manana Y Un Camino”; Guillermo Fernandez “Porque Te Quiero”; Jose Jose, Julio Iglesias and Armando Manzanero albums.
He toured with Raul DiBlasio where he visited Mexico, Costa Rica, New York, Dominican Republic, San Francisco, Seattle, and Austria. With Ed Calle and Dana Paul, he performed at the Aruba Jazz Festival and with the Jaco Pastorius Big Band he played at both the Reading Jazz Festival and the Detroit Jazz Festival. At the “Taste of Art & Jazz Festival” in Miami Lakes he played with The Nantucket Sound, The Atlantean Driftwood Band, Ross-Levine Band, and Ed Calle Quintet, Mike also performed at the Hollywood Jazz Festival, Jazz Showcase in West Palm Beach, Pleasure Island in Orlando and the Jazz Corner in Hilton Head. At the “Jazz on the Green” festival , Mike played for thirteen years with Peter Graves’s Atlantean Driftwood Band. He backed up the following artists: Tom Scott, Michael Brecker, Toots Thielman, Stanley Turrentine, Nat Adderly, Randy Brecker and Ira Sullivan. Mike was also a sideman for saxophonist Marc Colby on tour opening for Hubert Laws and Hank Crawford. He accompanied female Jazz vocalist Dee Daniels with the Palm Beach Pops Orchestra. Levine did a weeklong trio engagement with Mel Torme at Bubba’s the former Fort Lauderdale Jazz Club. He worked on both “Sabado Gigante” and “Don Fransisco Presenta” television programs; two top Hispanics Shows seen internationally for many years.
He has programmed for Latin artists, such as Gerardo Flores ”Junto A Ti”; Olga Tanon, Raul Di Blasio, Ricardo Montanier, Millie and can be found on releases from Alejandro Fernandez, Charlie Saa, and John Secada. His writing includes music for Ed McMahon’s Star Search, Univision Network, Televisa Network, WLRN Radio and Boosey & Hawkes, Inc Library. Other credits are his participation in Jingles for Pizza Hut, Burger King, Lowenbrau, Amoco, Southern Bell, McDonalds, Kraft, and Mattress Giant. In 2002, in the producer role, Mike yielded a Grammy Nomination for Harpist, Roberto Perera, “Sensual” in the category, Latin Pop Instrumental.