home bio calendar discography music
Born in Redwood City, CA in 1991, bassist Mike Gurrola began his musical journey studying and playing violin in his elementary school orchestra in La Crescenta, California. In his early teenage years an interest in rock and blues guitar led him to learn guitar on his own at home; meanwhile he had switched from violin to bass in his middle school orchestra.  
Mike's interest in jazz developed because of his desire to attend the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA) where the school day was split equally between academics and the pursuit of the student's art. He auditioned successfully on upright bass and began a fruitful period of rapid development in jazz knowledge and skill, while winning group and individual awards at competitions at the Berklee College of Music and Monterey Jazz Festival annual school competitions, including a scholarship to Berklee's presitigious five-week jazz workshop led by critically acclaimed drummer Terri-Lynne Carrington and a seat two times as bassist in the Monterey Jazz Festival's Next Generation Jazz Orchestra, playing at the North Sea and Monterey Jazz Festivals and at the Kennedy Center.  
Mike supplemented the opportunitites and training he received at LACHSA with private lessons from local jazz bassists and classical lessons at the Colburn School of Music in Los Angeles. In his senior year he was the recipient of LACHSA's first Ray Brown Scholarship, which was presented to him by Ray Brown's widow Cecilia. The scholarship was for lessons with John Clayton, famous jazz bassist and former protege of Ray Brown. Mike continued taking lessons from and established a lasting relationship with John Clayton for the following few years.  
Mike's professional performing career also began in his High School years when he started going to and playing at jam sessions in Los Angeles clubs at night. Eventually, he began gigging as a side man and leader making a name for himself on the Los Angeles jazz scene. By the end of High School he had become so busy as a professional jazz bassist that he opted not to accept scholarships to attend prestigious music conservatories. His professional resume includes playing with and/or recording with Eric Reed, Mary Stallings, Jeff Hamilton, Houston Person, Benny Green, Larry Goldings, Willie Jones III, Harry Allen, Jane Monheit, Kenny Burrell and many more.  

"The bassist has one of the hardest jobs in the Jazz band: he has to provide support for the harmonic and melodic creations by the other musicians. His notes and rhythms have to propel the band outward and upward. Mike does this with strength and humility. He has a well-rounded knowledge of the instrument, he respects musicians and he respects music; plus, he's a funny guy to boot."
--- Eric Reed
"Listening to Mike Gurrola play bass with Jonesy [Mike Jones] at once inspires and discourages me. I'll keep playing knowing that I'll never be that good but I can hold on to the fact that more people have walked on the moon than have ever played bass that well."
--- Penn Jillette (world renowned magician)
liner notes of Mike Jones' Plays Well With Others
"Mike Gurrola shares all the very best attributes that I look for in a partner in the rhythm section. His time feeling is strong and welcoming. His intonation is right on the money. His sound is big and warm. As a soloist, Mike is very creative and very clear as far as 'making the changes' are concerned; you always know where he is in the forms of the songs. In short, Mike has become my 'first call' when I need a great bass player. It's astounding for me to realize that he's only in his early twenties and already plays at this very high level."
--- Barry Zweig