Born in Los Angeles, Michael DeWall comes from fine musical stock. His mother, Wanda Curtis, originally from Portland, Oregon, was an acclaimed jazz singer during the ’50s and ’60s. She toured the world, fronting big bands and small combos, eventually settling in Argentina where she became immensely popular.
Michael spent his teenage years in Argentina where he learned how to play variety of musical styles — Argentine folk, bossa nova, jazz, and calypso. He moved back to California at the age of 22 and was exposed to the great singer-songwriters of the 1970′s.
He began to write his own songs, performing them at cafes and small clubs in Southern California while working for the Berlitz School of Languages, where he eventually became director for four of their schools in the Los Angeles area. In 1983 he relocated to the Bay Area and began teaching Spanish in Oakland. Since 1993 he has taught at Albany Middle School.
During the mid-1990′s Michael teamed up with Keith Brown to write and perform two winning songs in the Festival de la Canción in San Francisco. In 2000 Michael released his first CD, Soy Americano, a collection of songs in Spanish and English reflecting musical styles of North and South America, and honoring the women in his life.
In 2008, Michael met veteran producer/writer Pete Elman, and they inspired each other to create Michael’s second CD, Dream. This exciting addition to Michael’s musical legacy is featured on his home page at www.michaeldewall.com. Michael regularly performs around the Bay Area with his jazz quintet, Michael DeWall and Friends and also with several other artists and bands. He is currently living in Richmond, California with his wife Viola and their son Nathaniel.
Pete was born and raised in Bethesda, Maryland, and at a young age fell in love with the sounds of rock n’roll, soul, and country-western music. Equally adept on piano, organ, trombone, guitar, bass and singing, he produced his first record at 16 and worked steadily as a professional musician in rock and soul bands throughout the Mid-Atlantic States.
During his college years in Boston he was in the legendary band Swallow, performing on bills with the J. Geils Band, Muddy Waters and many others. He was a member of a popular calypso band and traveled to Trinidad where he produced a hit record for the annual Carnival in 1971.
In 1973 he joined the Washington D.C. band Lazy River and relocated to California, where he began to write music for what would be the first of three solo albums, Durango Saloon, which went on to sell over 50,000 copies and was described as “…pure piano imagery…instrumental beauty.”
After a couple of years playing in bands in idyllic Santa Cruz, California, Elman went to Austin, Texas absorbing American roots music, along the way playing piano for Lacy J. Dalton, Flaco Jimenez, Clifton Chenier and the Willie Nelson band. In 1977 he moved to the Bay Area, and since then has produced over 25 albums, among them six of his own. You can learn more about Pete’s music at http://realdreammusic.com/
He has performed and recorded with, among others, Grammy-winning writer/producer Rick Nowels (Stevie Nicks, Madonna, Celine Dion), Tom Johnston (Doobie Brothers) and Stef Burns (Huey Lewis and the News). He has composed, arranged and produced music for national TV and radio and was the manager of Acorn Music. Pete is currently involved in many writing and recording projects at his home studio in Oakland, California, where he lives with his wife Lisa and daughter Katie.
Pete worked as a sportswriter for the Contra Costa Times and Oakland Tribune from 2000-2011. In 1991 he came up with the well-known moniker “RUN TMC” for the Golden State Warrior team of the early 1990’s. He also wrote a column on baseball and American culture for the Oakland Athletics Fan Coalition from 2000-2005.
He is currently working on several books, among them a young adult coming-of-age novel, a children’s chapter book, a series of biographical vignettes about a dozen of his good friends at the Berkeley YMCA, and memoirs of his life as a rock n’ roll musician.