- MICHAEL KONTRAS
has appeared on national and local television, toured
and performed in 26 states. He is an excellent
vocalist and keyboardist whose one man show is second
to none. In addition, Michael is a superb composer and
has recently released his first all-original,
has been written about in many publications with good
reviews. He has also released a second
which is a live recording of his one man show. It has
also received much attention.
Kontras was born in Columbus, Ohio in the
1950's. He studied piano during his junior high and
high school years receiving "Superior" and "Excellent"
ratings at state competitions.
playing the piano..."
Kontras says, "...but
I hated the practicing."
Kontras studied the classics through most of his
adolescent and teenage years.
1965, Kontras became interested in being a member of a
rock 'n' roll band. His first attempt at putting a
band together only lasted one gig.
God, we were terrible"
he remembers. "We
had a drummer, an electric guitarist, a lead vocalist
and no bass guitarist. I played a 12 string acoustic
guitar with an electronic pick-up. I couldn't afford a
keyboard and since I knew the basic chords on a
guitar, I figured this was the easiest way to get a
wasn't long before Kontras decided to save his money
and purchase his first keyboard.
that first keyboard was the smartest move I ever
Kontras says, thinking back.
quickly was asked to join a well-established group and
they loved having a keyboardist who could also add
some vocal strength."
the late 1960's through the early 1980's, Kontras
formed and played in several bands, touring the
midwest extensively. There was a small departure from
being in bands in 1971 when he joined the National
Rock Opera's Jesus
as a sound and lighting technician
keyboard spots had been filled but I knew the sound
engineer and he managed to get me on the
says Kontras. "The
experience was immeasurable. The knowledge I gained
from working that tour for 6 months helped me
immensely when I went back to putting bands
the mid 1980's through the mid 1990's, Kontras found
himself needing to downsize his act in order to stay
working in the business. "MTV
and DJs changed the club business forever back in the
80's. Being a duo or a solo act is the only way to
survive in the business. As much as I love playing in
a full band, I have to 'pay the rent' and I can't make
enough money to do that being in a four or five piece
Kontras worked in a couple of different duo acts
before going solo in 1995.
decision to become a solo act was one that would
require a lot of work in his recording studio. He
wanted the sound of a full
"I had no desire to be a piano player/vocalist gigging
in some restaurant during dinner
Recording all of his own tracks was the best way to
acquire the exact sound he
"With today's technology, becoming a one man show with
the sound of a full band was a natural for
had honed my musical and technical talents over the
past 25 years and it was time to put them to good
forty years of live performances,
Kontras has left the full-time