Michael Lington

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Michael Lington
Lington sax.jpg
Michael Lington
Background information
Born (1969-06-11) June 11, 1969 (age 47)
Copenhagen, Denmark
Genres Contemporary jazz, soul
Occupation(s) Musician, entrepreneur
Instruments Saxophone
Years active 1997 – present
Labels Copenhagen Music, Sony/Red, Rendezvous Music, Gold Circle
Associated acts Michael Bolton, Barry Manilow, Bobby Caldwell, Randy Crawford, Brian Culbertson
Website www.michaellington.com

Michael Lington (born June 11, 1969) is a Danish-American contemporary saxophonist, songwriter, producer, recording artist and a purveyor of soul and contemporary jazz.[1]

Lington has released 9 solo albums and has 19 singles that have charted on the Billboard and Radio & Records (R&R) contemporary jazz radio charts.[2][3]

Over the course of his career, Lington has collaborated with Michael Bolton, Barry Manilow, Aaron Neville, Mike Love, Randy Crawford, Bobby Caldwell, Kenny Lattimore, Ryan Shaw, Little Richard, Joan Sebastian, Christian Castro, Booker T. Jones, The Dap Kings, Ray Parker, Jr., Taylor Dayne, Brian Culbertson, and many others.

Lington has performed at the Royal Wedding of Denmark's future king, Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary Donaldson at Fredensborg Castle and has also played numerous other times for the Danish royal family. He is the grandson of Danish composer and band leader Otto Lington.

Early life[edit]

Lington was born and raised in Copenhagen, Denmark, where he began his career at the age of 7 as a clarinetist. He was a member of the world-renowned Tivoli Boys Guard for 7 years (1978-1985), which is where he began his formal music education, receiving a gold medal for his efforts. At 15, he became influenced by saxophonists David Sanborn and King Curtis and by American soul music artists like Sam Cooke, Wilson Pickett and Ray Charles, which precipitated his decision to take on the saxophone as an instrument of choice.[4][5]

After attending college, Lington co-owned a recording studio with songwriter John Hatting while touring regularly throughout Europe.[6] During this time, he performed on several of Denmark’s Eurovision song contest entries.[7] He also competed in the Danish newspaper Berlingske Tidene / Rhythmic Conservatory music youth competition, judged by musician Nils-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, where he won First Prize in 1987 and won the Gold Prize in 1988.

In 1990 (at age 21), Lington moved to Los Angeles with the assistance of drummer Mark Schulman and soon became heavily involved in LA’s contemporary jazz scene. After playing various gigs around Southern California, he met Bobby Caldwell, with whom he toured with for four years (1994-1998), and subsequently, Randy Crawford, with whom he toured with for three years (1998-2001).

Career[edit]

Lington signed his first recording contract in 1996 with Nugroove Records and released his self-titled debut album in 1997. It produced the hit “Tell It Like It Is” (feat. Bobby Caldwell), a song that became a Top 10 Radio & Records (R&R) NAC/Smooth jazz song and a Top 20 R&R Adult Contemporary song.[8]

In 2000, Lington signed with Gold Circle Records and released his 2nd album, Vivid, which produced two R&R charting singles, “Twice In A Lifetime” (#2) and “Sunset (Por Do Sol)” (#4). The album featured Randy Crawford singing the Burt Bacharach/Hal David classic, “Message To Michael.”

In 2002, he signed with Three Keys Music and released the album Everything Must Change, which also produced two R&R charting radio singles; “Still Thinking Of You” (#5) and “Off The Hook.”

In 2004, Lington signed with Rendezvous Music and released the albums Stay With Me (2004) [feat. Michael Sembello] and A Song For You (2006) (the latter of which featured a full orchestra arranged and co-produced by Randy Waldman). Stay With Me produced three Top 5 R&R charting radio singles; “Show Me” (#2), “Two Of A Kind”(#2), and “Pacifica” (#6). A Song For You also featured the notable single, “It’s Too Late,” penned by songwriter Carole King.

In 2008, Lington re-signed with Nugroove Records and released the album Heat, which reached the Top 5 on Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz albums sales chart[9] and was chosen as JazzTrax’s 2008 Album of the Year.[10] The album featured singers Aaron Neville and “American Idol” finalist Ace Young. It also featured Brazilian guitarist Torcuado Mariano, and the Academy Award-nominated songwriting team of Allan Rich and Jud Friedman. It was produced, in part, by Keith Olsen and Greg Phillinganes. Heat’s lead single, “You and I,” reached #2 on R&R’s Smooth Jazz radio chart.[11] Lington's duet with Neville, "That's When You Save Me," tied that year as JazzTrax Best Vocal Song of the Year.

In 2012, Lington released Pure on Trippin ‘N’ Rhythm Records, which featured guest artists Michael Bolton, Jonathan Butler, Lee Ritenour, Jeff Golub, and former “American Idol” & “Tonight Show” bandleader Rickey Minor. It produced the Billboard Top 5 radio single “Road Trip,” which also hit #1 on the instrumental radio charts.[12]

In 2014, Lington established his own label, Copenhagen Music, along with business partner Roy McClurg, on which he’s since released the albums Soul Appeal (2014) and Second Nature (2016). Soul Appeal featured vocalists Kenny Lattimore and Ryan Shaw and produced 4 Billboard jazz radio singles; “Soul Appeal,” “Uptown Groove,” “In The Pocket” and “Taking Off.” The self-titled first single becoming the #1 song of 2014 on the Groove Jazz music chart.[13]

Lington released Second Nature in April 2016. The album has been described as an “audio love letter to the city and sound of Memphis,” a place that the artist has said influenced him significantly as a young man.[14] Special guests on the album include vocalists Taylor Dayne and Sy Smith, as well as Booker T. Jones, Ray Parker Jr., Paul Jackson Jr., and Brian Culbertson. Second Nature debuted at on #3 on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz sales charts and #7 on the Billboard Combined Jazz sales chart. The album’s first radio single, “Beale Street,” was a Top 15 Billboard jazz radio single. Lington has toured regularly his entire career, averaging 60-80 shows per year. In recent years, from 2010 to 2013, Lington joined Michael Bolton on tour as his opening act & special guest. Lington and Bolton performed over 350 shows together in more than 40 countries. Venues on the tour included Royal Albert Hall, Sydney Opera House, Universal Amphitheater, and the Kuwaiti Embassy in Washington DC (where they performed for President Bill Clinton). Lington was also featured on Bolton’s Motown tribute album, Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.[15]

In February 2016, Barry Manilow invited Lington to join his “One Last Time” arena tour. Lington opened the show and joined Manilow on the song “Brooklyn Blues” during the headliner’s main set.[16]

Lington is signed to the Agency for the Performing Arts (APA) for worldwide representation and has a publishing administration deal with Kobalt Music Publishing. He is an ASCAP songwriter/publisher and a 20-year voting member of the Recording Academy (NARAS). He is a Yamaha Saxophone, Vandoren reeds, Westone audio and Sennheiser performing artist.[17]

Michael was nominated for International Instrumentalist of the Year at the 2009 Canadian Smooth Jazz Awards.[18]

International Musician Magazine featured Lington on the cover of the November 2008 issue.[19][20]

Musical style[edit]

Lington’s style has been described as “soulful and authentic.” He plays alto, tenor and soprano sax, although he favors the alto sax for his solo projects.

Personal life[edit]

Lington manages his own wine company, Lington Wines,[21] which is based in California’s central Paso Robles region, as well as a cigar company, Michael Lington Cigars,[22] which manufactures its product in Honduras. He’s served as a cigar columnist for Wine and Jazz magazine.[23]

Discography[edit]

Year Title
2016 Second Nature
2014 Soul Appeal
2012 Pure
2008 Heat
2006 A Song For You
2004 Stay With Me
2002 Everything Must Change
2000 Vivid
1997 Michael Lington

Radio Singles[edit]

Year Title
2016 Memphis Strut
2016 Beale Street
2015 Taking Off
2015 In The Pocket
2014 Uptown Groove
2014 Soul Appeal
2012 The Serenade
2012 Roadtrip
2009 Ocean Drive
2009 You and I
2006 It's Too Late
2006 Pacifica
2005 Two of a Kind
2004 Show Me
2003 Off The Hook
2003 Still Thinking of You
2001 Sunset (Por do Sol)
2000 Twice in a Lifetime
1997 Harlem Nocturne
1997 Tell It Like It Is

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jazz, All About. "Michael Lington: Everything Must Change". www.allaboutjazz.com. Retrieved 2016-07-20. 
  2. ^ "RADIO and RECORDS MAGAZINE - R+R music and radio industry journal". www.americanradiohistory.com. Retrieved 2016-07-20. 
  3. ^ "Michael Lington - Biography | Billboard". www.billboard.com. Retrieved 2016-07-20. 
  4. ^ "Michael Lington - Biography | Billboard". www.billboard.com. Retrieved 2016-07-20. 
  5. ^ "Michael Lington - International Musician". 2014-02-19. Retrieved 2016-07-20. 
  6. ^ Jazz, Inside. "Inside Jazz | Michael Lington". Retrieved 2016-07-20. 
  7. ^ "Download video: 7 - Det' Ok (Dansk Melodi Grand Prix 1988)". Retrieved 2016-07-20. 
  8. ^ "American Radio History" (PDF). 
  9. ^ "Michael Lington - Chart history | Billboard". www.billboard.com. Retrieved 2016-07-20. 
  10. ^ 360content.com, 360 Content,. "Smooth Jazz Album Releases and JazzTrax Play List". www.jazztrax.com. Retrieved 2016-07-20. 
  11. ^ "Michael Lington: He's a White Guy, But His Saxophone Doesn't Know It | EURweb". 2014-08-07. Retrieved 2016-07-20. 
  12. ^ admin. ""Voices" and Jon Anderson highlight Station Casinos' January 2015 headliners | VegasNewsChannel.com". Retrieved 2016-07-20. 
  13. ^ "Michael Lington | Awards | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-07-20. 
  14. ^ "Michael Lington - Second Nature (Review)". 2016-04-16. Retrieved 2016-07-20. 
  15. ^ "What's Going On (feat. Michael Lington) - Michael Bolton". SongLyrics.com. Retrieved 2016-07-20. 
  16. ^ "Barry Manilow Brings It 'One Last Time' At The Intrust Bank Arena". Retrieved 2016-07-20. 
  17. ^ "Radio Swiss Jazz - Musikdatenbank - Musiker". Retrieved 2016-07-20. 
  18. ^ "Michael Lington | Yamaha Artists". www.yamaha.com. Retrieved 2016-07-20. 
  19. ^ "Michael Lington - International Musician". 2014-02-19. Retrieved 2016-07-20. 
  20. ^ Michael, Lington. "Michael Lington personal website". 
  21. ^ "Michael Lington Wines by Solana Cellars in Paso Robles, CA". 2013-12-21. Retrieved 2016-07-20. 
  22. ^ "Michael Lington". Michael Lington. Retrieved 2016-07-20. 
  23. ^ "Wine and Jazz Vintage 2 Track 2 Page 5". Retrieved 2016-07-20. 

External links[edit]