Primary Scene: Brooklyn/New York
Originally from Vancouver, bassist Michael Bates grew up playing music in hardcore and punk rock bands before turning to jazz and classical music. He studied with the principal bassist of the Tokyo Symphony, Yoshio Nagashima, as well as Don Thompson, Dave Young, Mark Helias and Tony Falanga. In 2002, he relocated to New York City and began performing with figures such as Michael Blake, J.D. Allen, Donny McCaslin, Dave Douglas, Michael Sarin, Gerald Cleaver, and Marty Ehrlich. Bates has toured in Europe, Asia, the United States, and Canada and as an educator, he has taught at the Banff Centre of the Arts and several universities worldwide.
Shortly after his arrival in New York, he formed the group Outside Sources, originally a trio with reedsman Quinsin Nachoff and percussionist Mark Timmermans. It grew to include trumpeter Kevin Turcotte before their 2006 recording sessions. Thereafter, membership fluctuated, with the departure of Timmermans and Turcotte and the inclusion of trumpeter Russ Johnson and drummer Jeff Davis. He also co-led the Michael Bates-Samuel Blaser Quintet. By 2011 he had formed his own quintet with Johnson, reedsman Chris Speed, pianist Russ Lossing, and drummer Tom Rainey.