Michael Bolivar Hones His Sweet Sounds in Palm Springs

Coachella Valley native has a big city backstory



Palm Springs' Michael Bolivar performs locally at Woody’s and the Purple Room at Club Trinidad

courtesy of Michael Bolivar

Michael Bolivar has a storied career and a lifetime of great experiences woven into his 69 years.

When meeting him, you instantly get a sense of his worldliness. He greets you with a warm smile and a steady handshake. But it’s not until he speaks about his music that you sense of who he truly is.

“I’ve worked with some of the best,” he explained to me, during our first meeting.

The saxophonist has backed a number of famed musicians including the O’Jays, Aretha Franklin, The Duke Ellington Orchestra, and Lou Rawls. Each of these artists was at the top of their game when working with Bolivar, enabling him to hone his impressive skills under their tutelage.

But Bolivar isn’t just an accompanying musician. He has also sustained his career by releasing his own work to a loyal core audience. Influences like John Coltrane and Nancy Wilson nestle themselves amid his albums.

Bolivar’s roster of releases includes an album of standards called You Go to My Head (2001), his jazz covers album titled Joy Spring (2002), and In the City (1998). Each recording is a testament to his love of all genres of music.

“You wouldn’t believe that I’ve done all the things I’ve done just by looking at me,” Bolivar says earnestly.

Regardless, Palm Springs is lucky to have this musician among its population. He performs locally at Woody’s, and the Purple Room at Club Trinidad. He also looks for ways to broaden his fan base through touring, a Kickstarter campaign, and recording.

So the next time you see the sax player with a sterling mastery of the greats like Sonny Rollins and Thelonious Monk, go over and say hi. After all, it’s not everyday that you get to chat with a legend in the making.

For more on Michael Bolivar, including a list of his local engagements, visit www.myspace.com/michaelbolivar

Add your comment:
Edit Module
Desert Guide
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

Lance Bass, Michael Turchin Wedding has its Beginnings in Palm Springs

Lance Bass and Michael Turchin will tie the knot on Dec. 20 as part of a E! network TV special, but the romance began nearly four years ago in one of their favorite places to visit: Palm Springs.

The Palm Springs Hotel Reflects History, Design of Yesteryear

The Palm Springs Hotel, a renovated 1950s property, is a striking mix of midcentury modern meets industrial chic with a bit of European flair. Think clean lines, ceramic tiles, and adorable Parisian inspired cafe tables.

Happy 2015!

Ring in the new year at a party that suits your style. 3, 2, 1 ... Cheers!

Terry Fator Celebrates Christmas With Fantasy Springs Show

Calling himself a total 'Christmas nut', comedian and ventriloquist Terry Fator brings a holiday-themed show Dec. 20 to the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino.

Frank Sinatra Jr. Helps Bring in 2015 at Riviera Palm Springs

Frank Sinatra Jr. will help New Years Eve revelers bring in 2015 when he performs at the Riviera Palm Springs featuring songs from his legendary father and Palm Springs icon, Frank Sinatra, and his own.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Promotions + Contests

Cartoon Caption Contest

Cartoon Caption Contest

Each month, we provide a vintage 1950’s cartoon illustrated by Alice Rovinsky. You are invited to submit a caption or vote for your favorite caption.
Fashionista Friends

Fashionista Friends

Experience the glitz and glamour of Fashion Week El Paseo 2015.
2014/15 Best of the Best

2014/15 Best of the Best

Palm Springs Life’s annual Best of the Best. Readers tell us who their choice is for the “Best of the Best” of the Coachella Valley in over 40 categories.
Edit ModuleShow Tags