Among other things, Michael is an accomplished writer. Here is a sampling of his thoughts on music and other matters.

Letter To A Talented Young Bassist

This is an adaptation of an email exchange I had with a very gifted young bassist who played in one of my groups. I thought it would be of interest to any aspiring bassist. His name has been changed to ensure his anonymity. The following is his question (which took a lot of courage to […]

10 Questions For Every Aspiring Jazz Musician

Here are some comments meant for any serious student of jazz, based on my years as a player and a teacher as well as drawing liberally from my talks with Dave Liebman. I wanted to address the sometimes not-fully articulated question that underscores working with jazz students of a higher level, what legendary saxophonist/educator Dave […]

Michael Zilber interviewed by Jerry Karp

This interview by freelance journalist Jerry Karp is the best and most comprehensive Michael has done. It is posted on Jerry’s website and was the basis for an excellent profile Jerry wrote about Michael for JazzWest. Read the interview »

Fear and Loathing in N’awlins?

Originally published on JazzWest.com Fly out of SFO at ungodly hour. With props to Dennis Miller, why are all the flight attendants so damn surly now? They sure seemed nicer back in the days of sexist and misogynistic America (even my ultra-feminist wife Carla, along for the ride, agrees.) In these times, “Hi, I’m Cindy, […]

NY to SF: Two Coasts...and Two Worlds

Originally published in 1999 or thereabouts on JazzWest.com so much has obviously changed, both for me personaly and for the scenes in general, but it was a pretty good snapshot of the times when it was written There is a call from Saroyan. New York vs. San Francisco. My mission, should I choose to accept it: […]

Master Vs. Entrepreneur

Originally published on JazzWest.com Saxophonist Michael Zilber notes the changing of the jazz guard, and how the lineage has shifted from the age of the jazz master to the age of the entrepreneur. Question: Other than being jazz musicians, what do Louis Armstrong, Freddie Hubbard, Charles Mingus, Sarah Vaughan, Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, John Coltrane, […]

New Pledge of Allegiance

I pledge allegiance to the America which holds these truths to be self-evident: We must be judged on the content of our character and not the color of our skin on the content of our character and not the God(s) we do or don’t worship on the content of our character and not our places […]