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Obituary for Michael "Mic" K Gillette
Michael “Mic” Gillette began playing trumpet at the tender age of 4. His first paid gig was to play the echo on taps on Memorial Day, while standing behind a headstone near his father. Mic claims his father was the most influential person in making music his life. This was the beginning of a vibrant and exciting career. Mic Gillette became a world-renowned trumpet and trombone player who appeared on countless CDs and record albums, spanning five decades, for some of the biggest names in the business, including a dozen members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
After touring for many years with Tower of Power he decided to settle down with his family. He married Julia in 1983 and in 1984 Megan was born. He has two grandsons Maverick 3 and Wyatt 1. Mic was the best husband, dad and papa any of us could have ever dreamed of. During his time away from touring, Mic ran a program called, "Music in the Schools" to help struggling music programs nationwide to keep their doors open. He continued to teach, record, arrange and play live gigs in Northern California, while living in Brookings, Oregon.
Mic is best known for 40+ years of stellar horns work with Cold Blood, Tower of Power, and the Sons of Champlin. He has also appeared on countless albums and CDs for some of the biggest names in the music business--Santana, The Rolling Stones, Sheryl Crow, Doobie Brothers, Quincy Jones, Rod Stewart, Elton John, Jefferson Starship, Huey Lewis and the News, and numerous others.
An original member and leader of the legendary Tower of Power Horn Section, Mic also established an enviable reputation for his work with youth and school bands. In particular, his affinity for working with middle school and high school students has endeared him to a whole new generation of fans in the 21st century.
The last three years Mic has also been the leader of his own group. The Mic Gillette Band, with his daughter Megan by his side as its lead vocalist and percussionist. Having her on stage with him continued the Gillette musical legacy. The band produced two albums, called Moondoggy and Turning Two. His solo CD Ear Candy was released in 2005.
Mic was predeceased by his parents Ray and Mary Gillette and his Sister Karen Rodriguez. He is survived by his wife Julia; daughter Megan; grandchildren Maverick and Wyatt; and his brothers Pete and Patrick Gillette.
There will be a memorial service in Brookings TBD and a “celebration of life” concert in the SF Bay Area May 7.