Grammy Nominee and award winning composer Michael Brant DeMaria is a multi-instrumentalist whose albums and live performances touch his audience and listeners with his sincere and heartfelt music. Michael's music has both a magical quality of simplicity as well as an ancient sense of timelessness and eternity. After hitting #1 and remaining in the top 20 for 6 months, his last album Siyotanka went on to win the Native American Music Award in the Native Heart Category in October of 2009. It then went on to be nominated for a Grammy in 2009.
Michael has been the featured musician for world renowned poets Robert Bly and David White in addition to playing onstage with Grammy winning and nominated recording artists Mary Youngblood, Bill Miller, David Darling and R. Carlos Nakai. Michael performs on the Native American Flute, Piano, Synthesizers, Indian Shruti box, and a wide range of world percussion instruments including African Djembe and Middle Eastern Doumbek. He also was a member of Sacred Winds Consort who opened for David Lanz at the 2008 Zion Canyon Music Festival.
Michael's love of music started early when only seven-years-old, Michael began using music for his own healing from surgery trauma. From the beginning Michael found true joy in improvising and creating his own music and he loved how creating sounds helped him feel more alive and at times even took him to another world. Seeing a jazz concert at age nine propelled Michael into drumming and percussion which he pursued with a vengeance. In his late-teens he realized he was not alone in his love of improvisation when he first heard the solo piano of Keith Jarrett, and the moving and soothing textures of William Ackerman and George Winston.
Born and raised in New England (Wilton, Connecticut) Michael moved to Florida in his teens. He was granted early admissions to the progressive New College (The Honors College of Florida) as a pre-med student, although he spent most of his free time creating music with his best-friend, guitarist Bill Schulz. DeMaria became fascinated not only with ethnic instruments but also with synthesizers (Pink Floyd, Alan Parsons Project, Tangerine Dream, Jean-Michel Jarre). DeMaria bought a Moog synthesizer and began making music for his friends and family, but most importantly for taking sonic journeys of his own.
DeMaria went on to graduate school at Duquesne University where he received his Masters at age 21 and his PhD when he was 24. While his academic focus was on psychology, his passion remained music and he began recording original pieces (five albums that he only shared with family and friends). DeMaria's first commercially available album, The River, debuted in 2003. It received international airplay and acclaim as a top album for music therapy, massage, meditation, relaxation, stress management and visualization. The album also was the first release in DeMaria's Ontos Healing Sound Project.
His third album Ocean was recently picked ?Best Ambient Album of The Year? by Improvijazzation and also climbed to #1 on the New Age/World/Ambient top 100 chart in November of 2009 and remained there for 3 months. Ocean then went on to win to prestigious ZMR Awards - Best Ambient Album of 2009 and Best Relaxation/Meditation Album of 2009. The ZMR Awards are voted on by radio, internet and cable broadcasters around the world.
Now with 3 commercial released albums and his music receiving critical acclaim he feels like he is finally living his childhood dream of sharing his sonic journeys for the soul with others. He is presently working on his 4th album Gaia, due to be released in November of 2010 on the Ontos Music Label.