The latest installment in Michael Kollwitz’ popular SERENITY series – SERENITY III – is being released today. SERENITY III is over an hour of simple, peaceful, relaxing music on the extraordinary yet uncommon stringed instrument created by Emmett Chapman known as The Chapman Stick. Michael’s album Serenity II charted in the Top 10 on Billboad and Zone Music Reporter charts.
Michael Kollwitz has played The Chapman Stick® for over forty years, and he has stayed true to his mission to bring The Stick’s unique music to as many people as he can. He may have been born under a lucky star, or it might have been good old serendipity, but in the 1970s, Michael was fortunate to cross paths with The Stick’s inventor, Emmett Chapman. To Michael’s delight, Emmett was more than willing to take him under his wing, and the two embarked on a teacher- student journey that has lasted to this day.
Though Michael’s music career began back in high school as a talented trumpet player, once The Stick was in his hands, he didn’t look back. The Chapman Stick is the only instrument he now plays and records on. The Stick’s magic may well lie in the simplicity of its design: it’s part of the guitar family, and indeed, resembles the neck and head of a guitar, but is played more like a piano with two-handed tapping, and has an incredibly versatile range of sounds. With powerful, expressive qualities, the instrument provides players with endless possibilities, and Michael has harnessed these with virtuosic effect.
Being a first-generation Stickman came with decided benefits for Michael. Consistently booked for musical gigs, he traveled extensively, opening for the Beach Boys one year, and earning raves for his one-of-a-kind performances along the way. By the early 2000s, he had amassed such a following that he decided to record his first solo album and join the festival and fair circuit to play music full time. Sacramento became home base for a time, and with his typical flair, Michael became a fixture in the community as a street performer in Old Sacramento. He had numerous television appearances, radio interviews and even starred as the subject of the award-winning documentary, “Stick Man.” In 2007, seeking new adventures, he relocated to Hawaii.
Michael has since taken The Stick to new heights, recording music in such diverse genres as Jazz, Classic Rock, Latin, Hawaiian, Americana, and even Christmas music. Michael’s 21st album, ‘Serenity- Peaceful Music on The Chapman Stick,’ marked a change in course for his music. From the cover art featuring the iconic Sedona landmark, Bell Rock to the rich, versatile songs, Michael’s goal was to create a sonically healing experience to evoke soothing simplicity and peaceful relaxation for his listeners.
Michael’s 22nd album ‘Serenity II’ is the Billboard Top Ten New Age charting followup album to ‘Serenity’ (2017) that reached #8 on Billboard one week after its release in April 2018 and remained #10 on the ZMR New Age charts for two months during April & May 2018. Because of its soothing, peaceful tracks, ‘Serenity II’ has been licensed by the C.A.R.E. Channel to play in hundreds of hospitals across the US from 2019 to 2021.
All three Serenity albums consist of a full hour of exquisite, peaceful, relaxing music on the extraordinary yet uncommon stringed instrument created by Emmett Chapman in 1974 known as The Chapman Stick. One of the inventor’s first students, Kollwitz wields his considerable talents on The Stick to create unique sonic tapestries that evoke calmness, healing, and reflection- just like the red rocks of his hometown in Sedona, Arizona. He credits his musical inspiration to an ongoing study of ‘Steps To Knowledge- The Book Of Inner Knowing’ by Marshall Vian Summers.
Michael has performed at more than a thousand festivals, fairs, civic & corporate events. At a chance meeting in Hawaii, Carlos Santana was visibly impressed by Michael’s music on The Stick and described it as “a gift from the heart” that made him feel good the moment he heard it. He’s been an opening act for The Beach Boys, The Goo Goo Dolls, Henry Kapono and has introduced many other musicians to the new instrument over the years including Keith Emerson, Mick Fleetwood, Steve Morse, and Herbie Hancock.
His albums and music have spread worldwide thanks to international and national airplay including “All Things Considered” on NPR. He is a veteran of many television appearances, and he was the subject of an award-winning short documentary by filmmaker Roy Plisko which captured First Place on CurrentTV in May of 2007.
To purchase the CD, check out Michael Kollwitz’ homepage.
Press release by the artist, RS Promotions