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For the past 20 years Michael Raitzyk has been one of Baltimore’s preimer jazz guitarists. His recent CD release (May 2006), Live at Café Hon, has been well received by the local community.  Raitzyk’s musical interest and influences include Jazz, Blues and Klezmer.  In 1996, Raitzyk started the band Charm City Klezmer, which has included performances at the Kennedy Center, New York City’s Klezmer Brunch at Tonic, and the Columbia Festival of the Arts. The CD release, Charm City Klezmer, was voted best of 1999 by Baltimore City paper.

The Michael Raitzyk Trio is his current project which released two CDs (2000 & 2006) and a Live DVD performance at the Hon Festival (June 2006).  The trio has performed every week at Café Hon since June 2003.  In 1992 his interest in big band music led to the formation of the MRJO (Michael Raitzyk Jazz Orchestra).  He led a 16-piece band for four years.  They played arrangements that included Thad Jones as well as MRJO’s own Mack Rucks, who studied with the tenor sax great Frank Foster.

Michael’s guitar style is based on a mix of blues, funk, R&B and Jazz. Raitzyk grew up listening to bands like Earth, Wind & Fire; Allman Brothers Band; the Police; and the Pat Metheny Group.   In the 1990’s Raitzyk was introduced to Klezmer music and soon realized he had married into a klezmer band.  His wife is a vocalist and his father-in-law plays clarinet.  Klezmer music has now become a part of Raitzyks’ guitar syntax.  For the past 3 years Michael has been performing a Friday night Sabbath service at Congregation Beit Tikvah.  Rabbi Elizabeth Bolton leads this rockin' service full of music and spirit.

Raitzyk studied guitar at Towson University and at Thomas Jefferson Performance Arts High School in Portland, Oregon. He has also studied with Walt Namath, Larry Coryell, Sheryl Bailey and Adam Rafferty.  Raitzyk has performed with Bill Hardman, Junior Cook, Pepper Adams Carl Grubbs, Mel Torme, Mary Ann Price, Kyle Caughlin, Ethel Ennis, and Greg Hatza.

Contact Michael Raitzyk at mraitzyk@howardcc.edu