Whether playing bass on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, composing music for the Royal Shakespeare Company, co-founding the smash YouTube channel CDZA, or hosting his “Thurber Theater” variety show at Joe’s Pub, Michael Thurber’s musical voice defies genre and category.
As a composer, Thurber made his international debut writing the score for "Antony and Cleopatra," a co-production between The Royal Shakespeare Company (Stratford, UK) and The Public Theater (NY, NY). The production was directed by Oscar winner Tarell McCraney.
Thurber is the co-founder and music-director of one of YouTube’s biggest music collective, CDZA. Within its first 2 years of formation, CDZA garnered over 26 Million views and 290k channel subscribers. CDZA performed at TED@nyc and was featured on NPR. They headlined the first ever YouTube Music Awards alongside Lady Gaga, Arcade Fire, Eminem and MIA.
In 2015, Thurber joined Jon Batiste and Stay Human as bass player for The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. On the show, Michael performed with Yo Yo Ma, James Taylor, Cee Lo Green and Jack Black. That same year, Thurber’s quadruple concerto “The Three Musketeers” was premiered live on NPR’s From The Top with The Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra.
In 2016, Michael’s one-man musical “The Booty Call” that he wrote and performed ran for 5 weeks Off-Broadway. In 2017, Michael wrote the music and performed the roll Antonio in Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” at The Public Theater. He was awarded creative residencies at The Kimmel Center (Philadelphia) and Theater Latte Da (Minneapolis).
In 2018, Michael’s violin concerto for Avery Fisher Grant winning violinist Tessa Lark was premiered with The Louisville Orchestra. He was also awarded the ‘Working Farm’ Residency at SPACE at Ryder Farm and wrote songs for Fusion TV’s show "SHADE."
Michael is on the Board Of Directors for NPR’s ‘From The Top’. He studied music at Juilliard and The Interlochen Arts Academy.