Michael Coppola is listed as “The master of the 9 string guitar” in jazz critic Scott Yannow’s book “The Great Jazz Guitarists”.
Michael has played at major jazz and guitar events such as the Montreal Jazz festival, the Namm show and the Chet Atkins festival.
He has also played at New York City clubs such as the Blue Note, Knickerbockers and the Iridium , where he was invited to perform with the legendary guitarist Les Paul. Michael has several recordings as a leader including “Return of the Hydra” which was a top ten pick for Coda magazine in 2004.
Coppola has been featured in many guitar based magazines such as Just Jazz Guitar, 20th Century Guitar, Guitar Player, Fingerstyle Guitar and more.
Michael Coppola was born and raised in CT. He began playing guitar at age 11, later taking jazz lessons with Sal Salvador at 15. Michael added classical guitar to his music studies the following year, and pursued it along with classical composition after high school at the Boston Conservatory of Music and The Vienna International Music Center in Austria.
In 1986, after a stint in the John Mehegan Trio, Michael began expanding the harmonic possibilities of the guitar by adding 2 extra inner higher octave strings between the 4th and 5th, to easily achieve the tight voicing pianistic sounds of Bill Evans. In 2000, he added a 9th string to the new group, completing the “Hydra” guitar. From this instrument, in Michael’s hands, one hears not only pianistic comping, but unique harp-like sounds woven into traditional guitar type lines.
In addition to extensive solo guitar playing, Michael performs with small groups and duos with vocalists, bassists and other guitarists, including many of today’s notable players such as Gene Bertoncini, Jack Wilkins, Tony Purrone, Howard Alden, Robert Conti and more.
As an instructor, Michael has taught privately since his teenage years, and had been on the Neighborhood Music School faculty teaching jazz, classical and rock guitar for several years.