michael omartian: then & now
Michael Omartian, born November 26, 1945, in Evanston, Illinois. He is an American singer-songwriter, keyboardist, and music producer.
In the late 1960s, Omartian helped launch Campus Crusade for Christ's new music outreach group, "The New Folk." In that capacity he arranged much of the music and assisted in training the singers. He was also a founding member of the 1970s disco-funk band Rhythm Heritage, and he also played as a session musician for artists including Koinonia, Steely Dan, The Four Tops, Seals and Crofts and Loggins & Messina.
"Omartian is one of the few producers in recording history to have number one records in three consecutive decades In one year alone, he was nominated for ten Grammy Awards"
Omartian has recorded a number of highly polished contemporary Christian music albums under his own name, including White Horse, Adam Again, Conversations (an instrumental album). Virtually all of his solo albums are now out-of-print. Omartian produced several Christian albums, most notably for The Imperials on the award-winning albums "Priority" and "One More Song For You" – which were produced in Omartian's basement studio on tight budgets.
In 2003, Omartian scored an audio book rendition of the biblical gospels, called "Gospels Come To Life". The audio Bible was read by fellow CCM writer/musician Michael W. Smith, based on musical ideas by Smith. The Spanish version of this audio Bible was narrated by CCM artist, Jaci Velasquez.
Toward the end of 2006 he contributed to an album with Annie Herring (of 2nd Chapter of Acts), called One on One...he plays piano as the solo instrument throughout with Herring providing vocals. One on One was his second collaboration with Herring; the first being the 1983 album Together Live, a collaborative, in-concert effort with Herring's family trio, 2nd Chapter of Acts, and Omartian's wife, Stormie. The live double-LP album was recorded in 1982 at The Church on the Way in Van Nuys, California. The album was also released on in video format.
He has been a participant in numerous other albums, during a career that has spanned over 38 years. As a producer, he has had No. 1 records in three consecutive decades. He is a multiple Grammy Award winner, including a Grammy for keyboardist of the year and producer of the year. He spent five years on the A&R staff of ABC/Dunhill Records, as a producer, artist and arranger. He was subsequently hired by Warner Bros. Records as a producer and A&R staff member. Michael moved from Los Angeles to Nashville in 1993, where he served on the Board of Governors of the Recording Academy and has helped to shape the curriculum for the first Master’s Degree program in the field of Music Business at Belmont University.
Michael has produced albums for several artists including Clint Black, Michael Bolton, Debby Boone, Steve Camp, Peter Cetera, Christopher Cross, Joe "Bean" Esposito, Amy Grant, Benny Hester, Whitney Houston, The Imperials, The Jacksons, Cliff Richard, Steely Dan, Rod Stewart, Donna Summer, and Trisha Yearwood. In 1985 Michael Omartian, along with Quincy Jones, co-produced the No. 1 hit "We Are the World" by a super group of popular musicians billed as USA for Africa.
Albums Include: 1974: White Horse (Myrrh Records) 1977: Adam Again (Myrrh Records) 1986: Conversations (instrumental) (Reunion) 1991: The Race (Word/Epic) Michael and Stormie Omartian 1978: Seasons of the Soul (Michael and Stormie Omartian) (Myrrh Records) 1980: The Builder (Michael and Stormie Omartian) (Seymour) 1982: Mainstream (Michael and Stormie Omartian) (Sparrow) 1982: Omartian Odyssey (compilation album) (Myrrh Records) 1983: Together Live (Michael and Stormie Omartian with 2nd Chapter of Acts) (Sparrow) 1995: Like Brothers (with Pratt & McClain) (Sonrise Music) 1995: Contemporary Mozart (known overseas as "Bon Appetit: Contemporary Mozart Arrangements Volume 2") (K-Tel) 2000: Child of the Promise: A Musical Story Celebrating The Birth of Christ (written by Michael and Stormie Omartian) (Sparrow)
Grammy Awards Include: In one year alone, he was nominated for ten Grammy Awards, three of which he won for producing and arranging on Christopher Cross' debut album: 1980: Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s) for "Sailing" (with Christopher Cross) 1980: Record of the Year for "Sailing" 1980: Album of the Year for Christopher Cross
GMA Dove Awards Include: 1981: Pop/Contemporary Album of the Year for One More Song for You (The Imperials) 1982: Pop/Contemporary Album of the Year for Priority (The Imperials) 1997: Instrumental Album of the Year for The Players (with Dann Huff, Tommy Sims, Tom Hemby, Terry McMillan, Chris Rodriguez, Shane Keister, Mark Douthit, Eric Darken)
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