This extremely versatile guitarist first picked up a guitar at the age of seven and has realized his dream of becoming a musician.Â Due to his adaptability and knowledge of many musical styles, he is one of the most sought after players in Los Angeles.
Growing up, Higgins was influenced greatly by the Beatles, Eric Clapton, Led Zeppelin, BB King and Buddy Guy. Higgins became enthralled with jazz at the early age of 11 and listened to Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass, George Benson, Pat Martino, Jim Hall, Miles Davis although John Coltrane was his major inspiration. At the age of 12, his brother, Ethan, took him to the Monterey Pops festival where he saw Jimi Hendrix and decided right then that he wanted to be a musician. After that, he became obsessed with practicing during all of his free time and embraced all musical styles.
In 1973, at the age of 17 he auditioned and won a position in the Monterey Jazz Festival High School All Star Band. While at the Monterey Jazz Festival, he had the privilege of playing with Dizzy Gillespie, Clark Terry, Max Roach, Mundell Lowe, Bill Watrous and Milt Jackson.
On the road with Maynard Ferguson for three years beginning in 1984, Michael recorded two CDâ€™s with Maynardâ€™s band, Body and Soul and High Voltage. The song, Jack Usage, written by Higgins and featured on the High Voltage CD, continues to be played on radio stations around the world.
An original and current member of the critically acclaimed group SHAPES, he composed the title tracks, as well as other songs, for both of their CDâ€™s: The Last Farewell and The Big Picture.
Higgins holds degrees from California State University Long Beach Bachelor of Arts in Performance, and a Masters in Music in Studio Jazz Guitar from USC. Today, in addition to playing, Higgins teaches at California State University Long Beach and Golden West College in Huntington Beach.