Thursday, July 21, 2011

Michael Z. Cummings at Rock For Vets 2 in Long Beach July 30

"Storyteller" Michael Z. Cummings is part of a solid lineup that includes Bobby Kimball (original lead singer of hit group Toto), Jerry Salas of seminal Latin group El Chicano and many surprise guests as part of "Rock For Vets 2, happening Saturday, July 30 at the Scottish Rite Event Center (in its new 'Ernest Borgnine' Theater), 855 Elm St., Long Beach. 4-7 p.m. $25. Info: (866-597-1116 or log onto Proceeds benefit providing additional music equipment and coaching for the Music Therapy Program for Veterans. Also performing: The Rock For Music Therapy Band, comprised of Veterans of all ages and abilities).

Michael Z. Cummings writes songs about people, for people. The Los Angeles-based, singer-songwriter-guitarist grew up in Boston surrounded by music. The deep bluesy music of Son House and Mississippi John Hurt oozed through the cracks of his brother's room. The street performances, live gigs and public performances by the students at Berklee, Boston Conservatory and New England Conservatory were a constant happening. From records, tapes and the radio, Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, and the Beatles, and were listened to, synthesized and memorized. This is why Michael picked up a guitar and just started playing.

And play he did. Electric Rhythm Guitar with a flat pick, Classical guitar, Ragtime, Jazz and Country pickin'. Michael also used his vocals and his amazing writing talent to express his observations of the world around him. Becoming a singer/songwriter was about connecting emotionally with listeners. To him it was about becoming less of a guitarist and more of a poet; less of a participant and more of an observer. This, in turn, led to Michael's 2010 Los Angeles Music Awards nomination for "Best Male Songwriter." His always-humble demeanor and keen eye for the human experience makes him a musician who moves listeners to both action and reflection.

Catch a very special performance by Michael Z. Cummings at the "Art of Health" special event happening at the Hollywood Sunset Free Clinic , 3224 W. Sunset Blvd., Silverlake, Friday, July 22. 5-10 p.m. Donations graciously and greatly appreciated. Info: (323) 660-7959 or log onto

Organized by FANS - "a creative group of folks who have come together to benefit the Hollywood Sunset Free Clinic." Cummings also performs at the "Rock For Vets 2" Benefit Concert in Long Beach on Saturday, July 30; and has a CD Release Party for Storyteller at the Pig N' Whistle in Hollywood on Saturday, August 20.

Watch a recent live performance of Michael Z. Cummings here:

Cummings is very active with the California Paralyzed Veterans Association (CPVA). "In 2008 I was seeking a charity to involve myself with and attended a barbecue benefit that year sponsored by the CPVA," Cummings says. "At that barbecue I met and became friends with the Director of the hospital (a paralyzed veteran himself - CPVA President Arthur F. Lyles). I immediately felt strongly about their organization. And what stunned me the most was how some paralyzed vets were happier then many people I meet (in everyday life). "As I got to know these truly gifted individuals thru my guitar lessons at the VA hospital and other interactions," Michael continued, "I found they were happy people before their accidents...I also felt a need in my life to surround myself with individuals who could and would lift me up. People I myself could learn a few lessons in life from. As time passed my program of guitar lessons took on more meaning in my life. Now I am currently involved in trying to raise $10,000 to pave their basketball court. I hope to do that thru live shows and CD donations as well as solicitation," Cummings concludes.

Michael Z. Cumming's new album Storyteller is, like himself, a soulful hodgepodge of Blues, Folk, Americana, and Country. Michael pastes together various peices of his past written poetry, all of stories of his past life, interactions of friends, family and foe, and the current state of America using his vocals, guitar, harmonica, lap steel and more. Michael is not quite a cynic, but he also does not see the world as saintly. This allows him to create organically raw music and lyrics that will remind listeners of their past, their childhood, ex-lovers, what they do not like in the world today and why they keep on living. Michael's new album is a respite for the soul of all who listen.




Aug. 20 (Sat.) PIG N' WHISTLE (Cd Release Party) Hollywood

Aug. 21 (Sun.) AMERICAN VETERANS RADIO World Wide Web

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