Michael Moore was born (1954) and raised in Arcata, California, USA. After absorbing music at home, playing locally and attending The College of the Redwoods and Humboldt State University, he moved to Boston to study with Jaki Byard, Gunther Schuller, Ran Blake, Joe Allard, George Russell and Joe Maneri at the New England Conservatory of Music, graduating in 1977. After a year in New York City he travelled to Europe for the first time in the summer of 1978 to play with Available Jelly, the musical accompaniment to the Great Salt Lake Mime Troupe. Since 1982 he has made his home in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
The early '80's found him working in the theater (Baal, Dogtroep, De Voorziening, Teo Joling, Mug met de Gouden Tand) and dance (Pauline De Groot, Katie Duck, Allessandro Certini, Shusaku Takeuchi and Virgilio Sieni) as well as various musical contexts such as Gijs Hendricks' Octet, Franky Douglas' Sunchild, Guus Janssen's Septet and Maarten Altena's Quartet and Octet. Later he played and recorded with the groups of Mark Helias, Gerry Hemingway, Sean Bergin, Maurice Horsthuis, Georg Graewe, Klaus Konig, Burton Greene (Klezmokum), Simon Nabatov, Dave Douglas, Myra Melford, Mark Dresser, Ig Henneman and others.
In 1986 he received the Dutch jazz award, the Boy Edgar Prijs. In '97 Trio Clusone was voted #1 acoustic group (Talent Deserving Wider Recognition) in Down Beat's Critics Poll; in 2000 - 2002 Moore was voted #1 clarinetist in the same poll. He was also voted winner of the Bird Award from the Northsea Jazz Fest in 2000.
Since '91 his activities as composer and performer have been documented both on his own recording label, Ramboy, and others. His playing and writing are to be heard on more than 100 CDs.
His activities as a concert designer came to the fore in '93 with a commission for YoYo Ma's Carte Blanche at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam; a three day festival (Moore & more) in Bremen, Germany; Clusone & friends concerts in Italy and Holland, and a three-day Available Jelly Festival at the Felix Meritus concert hall in Amsterdam. In '94 he organized three evenings at De Singel in Antwerpen with Lee Konitz, Misha Mengelberg, Joey Baron, Marilyn Crispell, Gerry Hemingway, Kenny Wheeler, Mark Feldman and others.
His later activities include his 'Fragile' Quartet, Michael Moore Quintet, Jewels & Binoculars - play the music of Bob Dylan, the Magpie dance and music performance group, the Achim Kaufmann Trio, Benoit Delbecq, Oskar Aichinger (music of Carla Bley and Annette Peacock), the Paul Berner band, and, his longest musical affiliation, The Instant Composers Pool Orchestra.
In september, 2018 he began a collaboration as composer and soloist with the NDR Bigband in Hamburg, Germany.
Michael Moore has a deep understanding of both the American jazz and the Dutch improvised music traditions, but his writing and playing are also influenced by music from other cultures. The musics of Sicily, Madagascar, Istria and Indonesia have also been particularly influential. One recent project is 'Low, slow and wobbly', music for baritone sax, bass clarinets and trombones based partially on the Labë a capella singing tradition of southern Albania. He has collaborated with and been influenced by poets and poetry, dancers and other visual artists.
He has played Turkish music with Ogüz Büyükberber and Hüsnü Senlendirici, Malinese with Toumani Diabate, Keletigui Diabate and Habib Koite, Portuguese with Fernando Lameirinhas and Cristina Branco, and Brazilian with Rogerio Bicudo, Banda Mantiqueira and Paulo Moura.
He teaches composition, ensembles and sax and clarinet lessons at the Prins Claus Conservatorium in Groningen, and the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, NL. In recent years he has done workshops and master classes in The Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Denmark, Lithuania, Slovenia, Canada, and the USA.
Michael continues to write, improvise, play and prepare new releases for Ramboy and other labels.
Moore is a member of the musicians collectives: