About Michael Wagner

Mike Wagner composing at the pianoGrowing up in Cleveland OH, Michael was exposed to a number of cultures through their music. Hungarian folk music, German Waltzes and many types of polkas influenced his early years. Having the opportunity to study under Edmund Cifani, an accordion virtuoso, cemented his knowledge and love of ethnic music.

Michael was given the opportunity to perform throughout his childhood as both a musician and a folk dancer throughout Ohio and the U.S.A entertaining audiences at Octoberfests, ethnic festivals, county fairs and at countless other venues. His first recordings were playing the accordion with the Al Novak Band in the 70’s and he also performed on Cleveland’s ”The Gene Carol Show”, and “The Polka Variety Show”.

After graduating high school, Michael attended The Cleveland Institute of Music where he studied composition and theory. Michael also joined American folk/rock bands where he learned to play the drums, guitar, keyboard and to sing background vocals. During this same time period, Michael wrote and published ballads and country/rock songs. Many of the songs were recorded by local top 40 cover groups and solo artists in the greater Cleveland area. After graduation, Michael realized the common thread in everything he does is to try to understand the human condition. Striving for insight, he attended Case Western Reserve University and obtained a masters degree and post graduate work in Social Work Administration / Psychology.

His unique musical approach coupled with his constant curiosity regarding people creates a dialogue with his audience that reaches all ages.  At any of his concerts, children can be seen dancing and listening to the music as involved as their parents are.  Michael encourages children to follow their dreams no matter what people say or do to them.  He always says, “You’ve got to believe in God and yourself”.


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