Mike Michalkow grew up in Winnipeg, Canada. His interest in drumming began at the age of 17, which is late by the standard of most professionals in the music industry who begin studying music at a much younger age. He began by playing drums in the heavy rock, punk, and pop music genres, learning from Mitch Dorge of Crash Test Dummies. Michalkow’s music studies became more serious a few years later in Edmonton, Alberta, where he attended Grant MacEwan College, majoring in Latin and Jazz. This newfound devotion was rewarded with graduation at the top of his class.
Michalkow continues to improve his drumming skills by attending many clinics, such as those held by the Drummer’s Collective. This drum school located in New York, New York, was formed in 1977 and is widely regarded as the world’s premier school for drumming. Michalkow took private lessons on the drumset and conga at the Collective in the summer of 1993.
Michalkow left Edmonton in 1994 and moved to Vancouver, British Columbia to pursue a career in music. In Vancouver, he was able to network with industry professionals, even taking drum lessons from some notable figures in the drumming world. He has also performed with both original and cover bands and orchestras, and in 1997, became the orchestra drummer for a well-known cruise line. On returning home, he continued to pursue his passion for drumming, taking lesons from John Fisher, Jim Chapin, Chuck Silverman, Peter Magadini, Virgil Donati, and Dom Famularo. For the last five years, he has also played in the Vancouver International Drum Festival. Michalkow’s sponsors include Yamaha Drums, Sabian Cymbals, Vic Firth Drumsticks and HansenFutz Practice Pedals. He is currently teaching percussion and developing a line of instructional DVDs, the first of which (Moeller Method Secrets) was released in June 2006. The Moeller Method is a system that details a technique developed originally by Civil War era drummers for speed, power, and dynamic control in drumming. He also has released three information-packed training bundles entitled The Jazz Drumming System , The Latin Drumming System and the Drumming System.
Even with his numerous teaching and performance gigs each year, Michalkow makes time to record with bands and song writers that represent a wide variety of musical genres, including progressive rock, Latin, jazz, blues, pop, folk, Celtic, country, metal, and R&B. In Canada, you can see him perform with Symphony in Demeanor, R30 – Rush Tribute, The Town Pants, Tambura Rasa, V & The Wholly Cats, along with other freelance projects that come up.
Mike Michalkow is a prolific drummer who has shared the stage with some of the modern drumming world’s greats, including Dom Famularo, Chad Smith, John “JR” Robinson, Virgil Donati, Cindy Blackman, Kirk Covington, Robby Amen, Matt Frenette an Mitch Dorge.