Born and raised in the SF Bay Area, Mike Blankenship began taking piano lessons at the age of seven. By the age of 18, he was performing local gigs on a regular basis while studying jazz theory in college. He continued to gig regularly, quickly developing a strong reputation as one of the Bay Area’s finest musicians.
Mike has now been performing professionally for 12 years. Known for being an exceptional talent and an accomplished musician, he continues to be one of the most sought after musicians in the Bay. Mike is well versed in many styles such as gospel, R&B, Afro-Cuban, funk and reggae. In addition to his own musical accomplishments, Mike has made a name for himself traveling the world touring for high profile recording artists such as six-time Grammy winner Lauryn Hill, two-time Grammy-nominated artist Ledisi and smooth-jazz recording artists The Braxton Brothers.
Currently Michael tours with Quannum/Epitaph recording artist Lyrics Born, also based out of the Bay Area. Some other notable artists that Michael has performed with include Tony!Toni!Tone!, Howard Hewett, Kirk Whalum, Eric Roberson, Omar, Paul Jackson Jr, Norman Hutchins, and Micah Stampley, just to name a few. One of Mike’s proudest achievements is co-instructing the successful and popular San Francisco State University Gospel Choir.
Live From Home is an experimental series of live-streamed concerts presented by San Jose Jazz in response to the quarantines sweeping the world due to the COVID-19 crisis. Look for these 30-40 minute live streams every Monday and Thursday until further notice, when we’ll give you the opportunity to financially support artists during this difficult time.