Michael Raitzyk was born and raised in Baltimore Maryland. He started playing guitar when he was 6 years old. “A guitar showed up in our house as a gift for my father. He played it a little, but I played it a LOT. Our music community of friends saw that I was serious about it, and they would show me things. That is how I learned all the basics”.
By the time Raitzyk was in high school, his family had moved to Portland, Oregon. This is where he found a performing arts school that specialized in jazz studies, Thomas Jefferson High.
In 1982 he moved back to Baltimore and finished up his jazz performance studies at Towson University. There, he played in Hank Levy’s band. Hank is best known as a big band composer for Stan Kenton and the Don Ellis Orchestra.
Since 1985, Raitzyk has been active on the local music scene in a wide range of music genres. His band, Charm City Klezmer, has performed at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, Loudon County Music Festival & the Winery weekly Klezmer series in New York City. CCK released a CD in 1999 (Charm City Klezmer)& is on the compilation CD Live at the Winery on John Zorn’s Tzadek label.
Raitzyk has released three CD’s as a leader; Blues For Jake (2003), Live @ Café Hon (2006) & Michael Raitzyk’s Organic Trio (2011).
Raitzyk’s guitar style is a mix of traditional & modern jazz. “I grew up listening to Wes Montgomery, Pat Martino, Joe Pass & John Scofield. I also was aware of the guitar playing of B.B. King, Jimi Hendrix & Muddy Waters. I’m aware of the wide swath of music the guitar has historically covered. My style leans towards Jazz & Blues.”
Raitzyk has played and recorded with local musicians Greg Hatza, Mike Kuhl, Darius Scott, Jeff Reed, Amy Shook, Jesse Moody, Carl Grubs, Greg Thompkins, Karla Chisholm, Eric Kennedy, Chuck Karner, Alex Norris, Paul Hannah & Jim Hannah.