Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians
Le Van, Michael (John)
Le Van, Michael (John), pianist; b. Los Angeles, CA, 3 January 1960. While he was an infant, his family moved to Whittier, Ca., where they remained. Michael is the oldest of four boys. He comes from a musical family. His father, John, was a singer and director of opera and stage plays, b. 1926, died 1993. His mother (Kathleen Coombs) was an actress, b. 1936 died 1985. His three brothers are also musicians: Greg, b.1961 pianist; Steve, b. 1961, classical guitarist; and Eric, b. 1964, renowned classical pianist. Michael's daughter, Rebecca b. 3-5-91 is studying both piano and dance.
Michael began his career at the age of 9 years old and was performing at the age of 11 years old. Michael graduated from Lowell High School, Whittier, Ca. 1978 and went on to graduate, California State University of Fullerton 1983 with a BM in Music and Performance under the tutelage of the classical instructor, Earl Voorhis. In 1984, with the love for jazz and with the duality of his classical foundation Michael began his intense study in the field of jazz. His biggest influences were Bill Evans and Keith Jarrett. In 1984, he formed the Mike Le Van Trio, Jotty Johnson bass and Evan Stone, drums. They are still together.
Over the past 20 years, Michael has become well known in the Southern California areas. His performances have included many of the restaurants, The Cat and The Custard Cup, La Habra, Ca., The Ritz, Newport Beach, Ca. Hotels, The Four Seasons, Newport Beach, Ca. The Ritz Carlton, Laguna, Ca. and premiere jazz venues. Catalina Bar and Grill, Hollywood. Ca. Spaghettini's, Seal Beach, Ca. Kikuya's, Huntington Beach, Ca. Steamers Cafe, Fullerton, Ca. and Mission Inn, Riverside, Ca. The Trio has performed at the NAMM (National Association for Music Merchants. show in Los Angeles, Ca.
In Concert (1999); Hands On (2000); The Mike Le Van Trio (2002)
Videotape of performance from Steamer's Cafe (Premiere Jazz Club of Orange County, Fullerton, Ca. Jotty Johnson , bass and Evan Stone, drums (1998)
Reviews and CD reviews in a Los Angeles monthly paper, The LA Jazz Scene (June, 1999 and December 2000.