Michael Stribling's Bio

I started piano lessons at age 7, and I also studied violin, clarinet, and guitar for a time. But when the Beatles arrived in America in 1964, I switched to drums and never looked back. I earned a Bachelors in Music (emphasis in percussion performance) in 1974, and then promptly went on the road and played drums for a fella named Johnny Mathis. Before that, though, I was a radio announcer in the early '70s for what would now be referred to as a Classic Rock station (Beatles, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, etc.). Along the way, I performed in jazz bands, philharmonic orchestras, and did lots of studio work as a performer, composer/arranger, producer, engineer, etc.; I also played lots of musical theater productions.

In 1981, I changed careers and went off to graduate school, leaving music behind, and eventually becoming a licensed marriage and family therapist in 1992. I worked in the mental health field for many years. One of the most memorable experiences of that part of the journey was studying transpersonal psychology with Stan Grof. I returned to my first love (music) in 2005 after—what else?—life transitions. After all those years and projects, working for others, I finally decided it was time to produce an album "all by myself".

Some of my musical influences (among many, many others) include The Beatles, Jan Hammer, Vangelis, Paul Winter et al., Pat Metheny, Patrick O'Hearn, Steve Roach, J. S. Bach, Igor Stravinsky, Jimi Hendrix, Joni Mitchell, Steely Dan, The Mahavishnu Orchestra, Chick Corea, Peter Gabriel, Frank Zappa (heck, this could get ridiculously long). While there have been many life/spiritual influences, here are the most significant ones over the past several years: David R Hawkins, John Diamond, Eckhart Tolle, Lester Levenson, Wayne Dyer, Jack Canfield, Lao-tzu (again, among many others).

That brings me up to the present. Along the way, I've released several CDs that have ranked in the top 5 of the Zone Music Reporter Top 100, and two of my CDs have won awards for Best Electronic Album. I formed Leela Music (leela means "divine play") to undertake a very simple mission: to help others in their journey toward wholeness through the gift of music, by creating works that inspire and uplift the human spirit.