What My Friends Say

I enjoy working with Mike for his beautiful tone and solid time. He plays a variety of styles well and is always prepared for the gig. He is a real pleasure to work with both professionally and personally.

Chris Heslop, Woodwinds

Mike is the Optimus prime example of who a professional working musician should be on and off the bandstand.  Wittrien can and will read anything, even a triple sharp note in a flat key signature.

Andy Mowatt, Guitar

Mike will try anything – a true gamer on the spot.

Everybody likes Mike – there is a reason, he’s a cool cat!

Jay Umble, Guitar

Mikey is a well rounded musician who can play any style, eat any amount of Ihop, and make any drummer sound better. A bass player able to gel with a drummer is imperative and he makes it easy to find the pocket. Speaking of pockets… I can always rely on him to have spare change in his pockets for beggars and maintain in depth conversations with complete drunken strangers. True professional and pleasure to work with.

Gabe Staznik, Drums

The sign of a dedicated musician is someone who is constantly striving to better themselves in all aspects of their craft. Mike proves this dedication every time I work with him. He shows it through his work and practicing ethics. I’ve known Mike since his early college days and have seen him develop into a real pro as a musician. He is strong on both acoustic and electric bass and is an excellent reader as well.

Andy Roberts, Piano

Mike Wittrien is an seasoned professional who has the skills and experience to contribute fascinating and insightful bass lines to a broad spectrum of musical genres. Mike’s expertise on both Upright and Electric bass is meticulous and seemingly effortless. He has played bass on a wide variety of projects in my studio and continues to be the “go-to” bass player for my studio projects.

–John LaVasseur, Owner, Sound Design Music Studio

I have enjoyed and been astounded by Mike’s musicianship for ten+ years. He is the total package: killer chops, knows how to serve a song w/ grace and excitement without ever getting in the way, can groove AND swing AND rock w/ authority and attitude. He is a pleasure to work with, and always has kind words and encouragement for other musicians

Mike Bitts, Bass

Mike, or Mikey as I like to call him, is simply the kind of player you want to play with. He’s reliable, invested, and just a great musician who’s willing to collaborate with you to get the best show possible. My only regret is that I didn’t get to play more shows with this guy.

Eric Fotre Leach, Piano

As a musician, Mike is a consumate professional, well versed in many different genres, and, able to deliver them convincingly. As a person, he’s one heck of a nice guy… do people still say, “one heck of a nice guy”?

–Andy Alonso, Bass

I’ve been playing & creating music with Mike for many years. Mike is a professional in every sense of the word. A great player in any musical style. Great tone, time, and dynamic. Mike is a great person as well. I highly recommend him for any gig.

-Dave Santana, Drums

Mike played upright and electric bass on both of my albums in the last year. He has awesome time and great pitch, and was enough of a perfectionist to stay until he was satisfied with his work on each song, but not so much so that he wasted any of our time or got on our nerves! He is also reliable, fair and not afraid to work hard for as long as it takes to get the job done (or as long as the gig goes).

-Julie Keough-Mishler, Vocalist

If you ever need a tour guide to introduce you to haunted and/or weird locations in Jersey, Mike’s your man. He’s also the best guy to have around when trying to catch a glimpse of a certain reclusive author in the woods of Vermont. I’ve heard rumors that Mike plays the bass too, but you’ll have to ask him about that.

-Nathan Hengst, Owner, The Wood Fired Pizza Shop

Mike is a true professional. He’s a skilled sight-reader, has an impeccable time-feel, killer tone, great intonation on the upright bass, and to top it off he’s one heck of a great guy with a friendly attitude and hard work ethic.

Tim Wolfe, Jr., Bass

It’s always a pleasure making music with Mike Wittrien. He affirms his status as one of the best bassists in the region from note one of every gig.

Dave Pedrick, Guitar

Mike is one of the best musicians I know, and by far the most reliable and hardest working. I’m always excited when I see that I’m working with him.

–AJ Meyers, Trumpet

Mike is not only a tremendous musician, he is a tremendous person. While his musicianship is quite excellent, he is willing to admit his mistakes, accept criticism, and continues to remain humble and well practiced for every performance. For whatever amount my opinion is worth, this alone makes him one of the best bassists I have the pleasure of not only working with, but also calling a band mate.

Aaron Trasatt, Keyboards

Our recording engineer recommended Mike when we were looking for a bass player for two tracks on our new CD, and I am so glad he did! Mike was professional and came in knowing both tracks as well as coming up with killer parts for them. I look forward to working with him again!

–Mary-Kate Lee, Seasons

Bassist with a Heart of Gold (and Chops of Steel)

Mike Wittrien is a profoundly talented and able bassist. As adept on upright as he is on electric, Mike is fluent in all genres. I worked with him specifically on Divas Through the Decades at the Palace Theatre in Manchester, NH, a revue that showcased Mike’s diversity as a player. He is effortlessly able to switch genres, improvise, read, and take direction. It was during this time that I also got the privilege of living with Mike at the Palace’s cast house. I believe theatre is a social business, and friendship backstage leads to cohesion onstage. Mike is a remarkably kind soul and incredibly easy to get along with. Certainly one of my favorite memories of working at the Palace was meeting Mike for the first time: I was nervous about working at a new company, but Mike immediately made me feel at home and among friends.
In short: if you hire Mike Wittrien, you get not only an impeccable musician, but also a valuable friend.

–Nick Kaminski, Keyboards

I’ve had the pleasure of serving as Mike’s rhythm section counterpart in a few different projects over the last several years. He is a monster player and a consummate professional. From fusion to metal to traditional jazz, his versatility on the bass is unparalleled (even though he thinks he can’t slap). Like many masters of his craft, Mike can lay back in the pocket and groove until the cows come home, or steal the spotlight with a ripping solo that will melt your face. You’d be hard-pressed to find a pair of hands in the area that can do what Mike Wittrien does to a bass guitar.

– Ffej Herb, Drums

I’ve known Wittrien for the past 16 years, and have played with him in a variety of settings. His playing and his musicianship have always impressed me. He has excellent time, listens, reads like a beast and is equally skilled in jazz/improv settings. Mike is a talented, hard-working, versatile bassist who is easy to work with and comfortable in any style of playing.

-Dave Yinger, Woodwinds

I’ve known Mike for thirty f’n years.

– James Cornman, Owner, Atlantic Metro Communications

He’s so badass, he has two asses.

–Mark Huber, Piano

Mike Wittrien is one of those bass players who does it all. Upright or electric. It doesn’t matter if the gig calls for Classical, Jazz, Pop, or anything in between, his expert playing takes the ensemble to the next level. And he’s one hell of a sight reader to boot!

Chris Smucker, Woodwinds

He’s quite humble about his playing and yet has the strongest work ethic out of any of the musicians I know.  One thing I noticed about him a while back, we were sitting at the lunch table at work and he stands up and says ‘All right, I have to go practice.’  Years later, he still says he has to ‘go practice’, and then I’ll hear him playing his upright in the stairwell.  One time he was playing this Bill Evans tune (i.e., Peri’s Scope) and it just sort made this sense of calm come over me.  I didn’t even know who Bill Evans was at the time and now I find myself listening, and enjoying that kind of music.  Mike’s got an amalgamation of different styles under his belt.  His dedication has inspired me to practice more often, even when I don’t feel like it.  In terms of skill, I don’t believe any one person is more talented than another.  I see some people will go up to someone in awe and idolizing them.  Sometimes they’ll ask ‘How are you so good?  You are so talented!’ and I think- ‘wait a minute, they’re not any more talented than you, they were just willing to put the work in’.  He has a good balance of work and play time, of course, and he’s a social and likable, down to earth guy.  I remember a time we were walking toward each other in the hall going opposite ways, and he just pulls his middle finger out and mouths ‘f*** you’ with this gnarly look on his face and I was like ‘this guy’s not afraid to be appropriately inappropriate’, and vice versa, you know.  When I think of Mike, I like to think of the old Doctor Seuss saying, but I think it was originally a quote from Bernard M. Baruch, who said ‘Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.’  To this day it remains this anonymous piece of wisdom from the 1930s.  This sort of notion that you can’t please everyone.  He’s quite an interesting character.  He’ll go to shows and open mics to support his friends in the local music community.  He’s always practicing and continuing to hone his craft.

–Charlie Gill, BAMF