The Artistry of… Mike Downes

I have called Mike Downes the smiling bassist before — for good reason. He’s still smiling. I can hear the smile in his music.

This is not to say that his music never delivers serious tone, but when he offers and shares what he has crafted, it comes with a  sense of welcoming. Truly all of the ingredients of a smile reach out to include you.

His touch is lyrical. His bass sings and speaks. Without a word, as a soloist, his musical and creative messages are as clear as crystal and as warm and engaging as conversation.

In the rhythm section. he is a trusted and skilled pillar of foundation, seemingly speaking from a position of support with a voice of guaranteed artistic reassurance. A foundation place backing and supporting without falter.

Mike Downes is a gentleman, a jazz gentleman. He is the genre’s friend, and as an educator, he is a gem. His is the embodiment of charm and an everlasting chromatic palette of beautiful, colourful, musical imagery.