Michael Gibbs (composer)

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Michael Clement Irving Gibbs (born September 25, 1937, in Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia) is a jazz composer, conductor, arranger and producer as well as a trombonist and keyboardist.

He is known for collaborations with vibraphonist Gary Burton, his student, and for his use of rock elements in orchestral jazz.


He studied piano from the age of seven till he was 13, and took up trombone at 17. In 1959 he moved to Boston to study at the Berklee College of Music and the Boston Conservatory. At Berklee he studied under and worked with Herb Pomeroy. He graduated from Berklee in 1962 and the conservatory in 1963. In 1965 he returned to what was then Southern Rhodesia, but later was associated with the United Kingdom.[citation needed]

After recording with Graham Collier, John Dankworth, Kenny Wheeler and Mike Westbrook in the late 1960s, he released his first album, Michael Gibbs, in 1970.

From 1970 to 1974 Gibbs was musical director for the BBC TV comedy programme The Goodies. When he left the UK to take up a teaching position at Berklee, the musical director post was filled by Dave MacRae, a member of the band Gibbs had led in recording funk rock music for the show.

Gibbs' orchestras were important stages in the careers of various fusion musicians, and his arranging, conducting and producing work was well appreciated.[citation needed]

Selected discography[edit]

Albums as leader/co-leader[edit]


  • Madame Sin (1972)
  • Housekeeping (1987, Varèse Sarabande/MCA)
  • Iron & Silk (1990, The Fine Line/Mute)
  • Close My Eyes (1991)
  • Century (1993)
  • Hard-Boiled (1993, The Fine Line/Mute)
  • Being Human (1993, Varèse Sarabande/MCA)
  • Century/Close My Eyes (1994, The Fine Line/Mute)

As sideman[edit]

With Barry Guy/The London Jazz Composers' Orchestra

  • Ode (Incus, 1972)


  1. ^ Weideman, Paul. "MIKE GIBBS + TWELVE "Play Gil Evans (Whirlwind)". Sante Fe New Mexican. Retrieved 21 March 2014. 
  2. ^ Fordham, John. "Mike Gibbs + Twelve: Play Gil Evans – review". The Guardian (UK). Retrieved 21 March 2014. 

External links[edit]