Mick Rossi’s career has long been defined by the inability to comfortably define him or his work. Performing diverse and progressive work rooted in the New York Downtown scene at venues including the Knitting Factory, The Stone, MoMA and most recently as curator and artist-in-residence at Spectrum NYC (Outliers Series), Rossi is celebrated as “an exemplar of the cross-fertilization between jazz and classical music worlds" and "one of the most lucid, original and creative minds of the New York scene" (All About Jazz). He is simultaneously a longtime member of the Philip Glass Ensemble as well as the Paul Simon band as pianist and percussionist, showcasing not only technical proficiency but capable of divergent idiomatic disciplines. He has appeared on eleven recordings with Philip Glass, and seven with Paul Simon (including “Koyaanisqatsi Live with the NY Philharmonic” and “Austin City Limits” respectively). Rossi has also conducted for Mr. Glass, most recently “Book of Longing” (Sydney Opera House), “Einstein On The Beach” and "Dracula" with Philip Glass and the Kronos Quartet. Rossi has served as music director and curator of the MATA Festival, music director of the Public Theater's production of “The Bacchae” (dir. JoAnne Akalaitis), percussionist with Philip Glass and Laurie Anderson at Carnegie Hall, conductor and co-orchestrator of Renée Fleming’s “Dark Hope’” and is currently producing the recording of the opera “Violet Fire” (BAM / Jon Gibson). Recent feature articles include The Sydney Morning Herald (“A prodigiously gifted musician and composer”) and Keyboard Magazine (“Pyrotechnics with Paul Simon”).
Mick Rossi’s music reveals a commitment to a strong classical foundation and rigorous approach to improvisation. Rossi’s recent accomplishments include his third string quartet premiering at Merkin Hall performed by the JACK QT ("Bartokian and energetic” - NY Times), “OMNI” commissioned and performed by yMusic for the Festival of New Trumpet (FONT), and his tenth solo album “160” released by Innova (“A masterpiece difficult to label” - AAJ). Upcoming fall releases include recordings with John King and Peter Hess, respectively.
His work has been spotlighted on numerous top-ten lists, including the Village Voice, All About Jazz, and Downtown Music Gallery: recent recording “One Block From Planet Earth” (OmniTone) was lauded by Down Beat (“Four Stars”) and All About Jazz (“Life relishing and unpretentiously profound”), and also declared his ninth release “Songs From The Broken Land” “...virtuosic, intense and humorous - a master improviser is at work” (Orange Mountain Music). Rossi has also scored and worked on numerous film scores, including “Nosferatu” (Dreambox),
HBO’s “Bored To Death” and “The Vagina Monologues,” “Born Again” and "Queers In The Kingdom" (dir. Markie Hancock), and the prize-winning “Zipper” (dir. Amy Nicholson).
Rossi has also performed and recorded all over the world with artists including Laurie Anderson, Joshua Bell, Steven Bernstein, Big Lazy, Theo Bleckman, Angela Bofill, Kelly Clarkson, Jimmy Cliff, Leonard Cohen, Dave Douglas, Mark Dresser, Renée Fleming, Eric Friedlander, Philip Glass, Hall and Oates, Carla Kihlstedt, Tony Malaby, Wynton Marsalis, Steve Reich, Carly Simon, Paul Simon, Nadia Sirota, Wadada Leo Smith, Sting, Foday Suso, and Robert Wilson, among others. Performances include The Acropolis, BAM Next Wave, Barbes, The Barbican, Carnegie Hall, Glastonbury, iTunes, Knitting Factory, Montreux, North Sea, River-to-River and Tribeca Festivals, Hollywood Bowl, Jazz At Lincoln Center, Brooklyn, LA, London and NY Philharmonic, Metropolitan Opera, MoMA, National Sawdust, New Sounds, NPR’s All Things Considered, Q2, Roulette, Royal Albert Hall, Tonic, Town Hall, Saturday Night Live and every major concert hall and arena in the world.
Rossi — a Hermitage Fellow — graduated from The College of New Jersey with a BA in percussion, studied privately with Dennis Sandole of Philadelphia, and went on to pursue a masters degree in composition from NYU. He lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.