Mike Dawson’s keyboards are his ticket to other musical galaxies – literally. Dawson is a Texas based singer-songwriter, producer, and filmmaker who mixes global influences into a 21st century tour de force.
Dawson, who grew up in Michigan and New Mexico, settled in Texas after earning his classical piano performance degree from Eastern New Mexico University. During his New Mexico college years, Dawson also performed Latin jazz-fusion music with acclaimed saxophonist-composer Mitch Paliga. Dawson and Paliga’s band, Sidestep, performed in clubs and living rooms throughout the southwest United States. Dawson and Paliga’s musical partnership gained national recognition in 1985 by winning the prestigious American Collegiate Talent Showcase Bronze Prize. Paliga’s tune Willy & Molly was performed on network TV to a packed house at USC’s Bovard Auditorium.
When the US economy took a dive in the late 1980’s and Sidestep disbanded, Dawson returned to academia to earn an applied science in electronics degree. Upon graduation, his electronics work took him to the UK, Malaysia, and Singapore. As the Millennium arrived, Dawson was immersed into the world-wide wireless and internet communications revolution. After an intense decade of work as a engineer, music’s siren song called him back to a more fulfilling creative life.
Dawson has produced eight studio albums released on his DIY label Texas World Music. His latest project Roar Electra, co-helmed with the extraordinary Texas musician/producer Taylor Tatsch, follows efforts with his former rock ‘n’ roll big band Dawson’s New Rage. His current band, Roar Electra, inspired the new album’s title. It must be noted that Mitch Paliga has always been in Dawson’s creative orbit. Paliga has written stellar horn parts and performed outstanding saxophone solos for many pieces on New Rage and Roar Electra albums.
Dawson is a staunch advocate of music education and science literacy. His STEAM advocacy project Assignment Universe works to support education efforts throughout the world.