Michael McMorrow is a composer, a recording artist and the producer of some of Washington State’s most prestigious and beneficial music events. If you are involved in the Northwest music community, you may know him; if not, you probably have a friend who does because McMorrow's musical thread is woven wildly throughout it.
McMorrow's first training in music came from his Texas-born mother, and from his Irish-born grandfather Frank McMorrow, a fiddler. At 11 years old, Michael was writing, arranging and performing his own compositions on the family piano, and at 12 he won California’s statewide Young Composers Competition.
As executive producer and musical director, Michael produces Synergia Northwest Presents, to raise funds and awareness for youth music in the Pacific Northwest. Michael is a voting member of the Recording Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was most recently appointed to the Board of Directors for Seattle Music Partners which follow the same philosophy as Synergia Northwest. Because music-learning opportunities are often limited or inaccessible, Seattle Music Partners provides a free after school music program for under-served elementary school students in Seattle's Central District. Michael McMorrow is currently underway with the planning of Synergia Northwest 2014 concerts and continues to write, record and perform on various projects and as always with McMorrow, new musical threads are woven and the good outcome continues.
Michael was a part of the Horizons of Rock Developing Everywhere (H.O.R.D.E.) Festival tour, where his musical encounters with Brendan Hill (of Blues Traveler) brought the two to form a band.
In 1997, he, along with Brendan Hill of the Grammy-award-winning rock band Blues Traveler, founded the nationally recognized rock band Stolen Ogre. The two met while both performing on the H.O.R.D.E. Festival that featured artist such as Dave Matthews Band, Lenny Kravitz, Natalie Merchant and Blues Traveler. Along with performing, Michael also produced and wrote for the band. In 2005, Stolen Ogre was named National Relix Magazine Jamoff Winner with the McMorrow composed "Icing". The band successfully toured the Northeast, garnered national college radio airplay and in 2006 was highlighted as "Top Band To Watch," among some of the best unsigned bands in the country.
McMorrow's contributions to Seattle's music scene and community runs deep from up-and-coming artists to world-renowned superstars; from community events to benefits for national and international organizations. His first ventures in developing a long list on impactful events began not long after his graduation from Central Washington University. And who knew back then, that one of them would result in a behind-the-scene reference in a book currently on The New York Times Best Seller list. This would start in 1991, when he produced the internationally documented Support The Troops Concert for Peace Benefit at Paramount Theatre. The event aided the International and American Red Cross during the first Gulf War Crisis. Among the many artists performing were Chris Cornell, Alice in Chains, McMorrow's own band The Yarddogs, Jim Page, and Heart's Ann and Nancy Wilson debuted their newly formed band The Lovemongers that night. Their process of forming the band for the event, developing the music for the event and experiencing a new take on their music from performing that night is covered in Heart's new book 'Kicking and Dreaming'. McMorrow was unaware at the time that getting them involved in the concert would go on to have such a profound impact on the way that Heart would approach its music from then on.
With concern for the rich legacy of youth orchestras and music in the schools in the Northwest, Michael conceived and developed Synergia Northwest. Now as executive producer and musical director, Michael produces Synergia Northwest Presents, an annual concert event to raise funds and awareness for youth music in the Pacific Northwest.
Synergia Northwest is a music production company based out of Seattle Washington founded by Seattle musician Michael McMorrow. Synergia Northwest brings together top recording artists, orchestra with budding youth musicians — blending cultures, ages and musical genres into one fantastic night of music. This is all for the cause of preserving youth music education and to raise funds to pay for extended learning, enrichment and performance opportunities for students without the necessary financial resources.
Since its inception just 4 years ago and with limited resources, this northwest upstart has generated over $70,000.00 going directly to non profit 501(c)(3) youth music education agencies in the Pacific Northwest. Synergia Northwest helped Music Aid Northwest in bringing its "Music Matters" license plate campaign to fruition by raising capital and increasing the agency’s media profile needed to create a music-themed license plate that helps support school music programs through its sales. Music Matters specialty license plates can now be purchased through any Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL) office. As of February 2014 almost $80,000.00 has been generated for accredited northwest music programs.
Synergia Northwest has been covered by national and international music media including concert video and editorial in Rolling Stone, Relix and MOJO UK. Legendary Northwest artists have performed with the 50-piece Synergia Northwest Orchestra including members of Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains, YES, Blues Traveler, Guns ‘n’ Roses, Heart, Tracy Bonham and many others. The experience of performing with the orchestra which is made up of top professional, collegiate and All State high school classical musicians has received heartfelt reviews by the artists who have performed and many offers of returning again.
2013- The breakthrough year Synergia Northwest’s 2013 event “Music Lessons Matter” was held at Seattle’s Moore Theatre. The production teamed up with Seattle Music Partners, an organization that provides free after-school music lessons to underserved elementary students in Seattle’s Central District. The 2013 campaign, culminating with the 2013 concert, generated over $56,000 in charitable donations for the cause. Concert videos of the 2013 event with The Synergia Northwest Orchestra with Mike McCready (Pearl Jam) Duff McKagan (Guns and Roses) and Walking Papers were featured on Rollingstone.com (http://rol.st/18zjWjK); MOJO.com and RELIX.com.
2013 also brought us the Walking Papers' debut international release - recorded in Seattle and mixed by veteran producer Jack Endino- that included Synergia Northwest 2013 concert performances as live bonus tracks and featured Pearl Jam's Mike McCready with the Synergia Northwest Orchestra.