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Michael G. Nastos


Michael G. Nastos is best known for his career as a radio broadcaster in Southeastern Michigan from the early '70s to the present. His primary outlet has been at NPR affiliate WEMU, 89.1 FM, where he is emeritus-senior announcer and producer, holding down the full time evening slot for nearly 30 years, alongside duties as assistant music director and chief librarian. Born in Ann Arbor, MI, he grew up, briefly in Ypsilanti's Depot Town, and then on the outskirts of Milan, south of Ann Arbor. He took up piano at age six, drums and percussion at seven, and played throughout school in various marching or stage bands, pickup rock and blues groups. A classically trained multi-percussionist, he played various symphonic pieces, in small chamber ensembles, eventually mainstream or fusion jazz bands and a gamelan orchestra. Turning his attention away from working as a professional musician, he studied journalism and broadcasting, making that his livelihood. He has written extensively writes as a reviewer for the All Music Guide since its inception in the early '90s. He has published numerous syndicated previews, reviews, or opinion columns, worked for 17 years at the Ann Arbor News writing on jazz, blues, world, classical, and other musics. Michael was named one of the top five Midwest critics by readers of the Arts Midwest newsletter in 1988, and #1Jazz Critic in the SEMJA Music Poll in 1990. For ten years he was Detroit correspondent for Down Beat, and continues in that role for Cadence Magazine, where he has been since 1980. Other contributions include the monthly Hot House Magazine out of New York City, Coda, Rhapsody.com, L.A. Scene Magazine, Jazz Forum, Swing Journal, Arts Midwest, Jazz News International, and the Detroit Metro Times. On occasion he is a freelance writer of artist biographies, interviews, jazz festival and concert programs, and liner notes. As an instructor and guest lecturer, he has spoken or taught at the University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University, Washtenaw Community College, local libraries, and panel forums at the Detroit International Jazz Festivals. He is a founding board member and current Vice President of SEMJA (Southeastern Michigan Jazz Association) and has been an active participant in ISIM (International Society for Improvised Music). In addition, he was the business manager for the Ann Arbor Musicians Union, for ten years was panelist and eventually jazz chair for the Michigan Council for the Arts & Cultural Affairs, was publicity director worldwide for the Creative Music Studio in Woodstock, NY, and was employed in local retail record stores. As a musician, he has worked with keyboardists Stuart Cunningham, Rick Roe, and Bill Heid, bassists Rob Crozier, Bruce Dondero and Jaribu Shahid, saxophonists Vincent York andPaul Vornhagen, clarinetist Perry Robinson, the Cat's Meow, percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani, as well as improvising ensembles Sublingual and Electrosonic.