Michael Ramos' life has always been defined by the music surrounding him. "Some of my earliest memories are of riding in the car with my family listening to the current pop hits of the day on the radio, then walking into my grandparents' home and being enveloped by all this exotic music on Latin radio stations... I felt fortunate to have the best of both worlds". Coming from a tightly-knit family that embraced music in its daily regimen, it is no wonder that Michael chose music as his life's passion and vocation. Of the day his parents had an ancient upright piano delivered to their home, Michael says, "I'd always understood in some strange way, the workings of music and the relationships between notes and rhythm. But on that day as I sat down with all the notes in front of me, I suddenly had it all explained to me... it made perfect sense. My horizons had expanded forever." Even though money was hard to come by, musical instruments and lessons always managed to appear.
Throughout his youth, Michael continued to play in various classical orchestras, garage bands and jazz ensembles. Eventually, Michael began traversing the country in vans with various young rock bands. Moving to Austin, Texas, Michael would find his musical roots all over again. "I was amazed at the amount of fabulous music coming from such a small place". The music varied from rock, jazz, world, and dance music. He eventually achieved his goal of becoming a top recording session player on the scene in Austin and it was time to expand his horizons once again.
Michael began drawing attention from national recording and touring acts. He was asked to become a permanent member of the band "The BoDeans", and became an integral part of the band for six years. He also toured and recorded with "The Rembrandts", a stint which included playing on their multi-platinum CD "L.P." During this time Michael also began a long running working relationship with John Mellencamp both in the studio and on tour. Another notable studio appearance was with Paul Simon on his "Capeman" soundtrack. He also began a friendship and working relationship with singer-songwriter Patty Griffin. "It was awesome being in a band with someone who also happens to be one of your closest friends", Ramos says. "During this very busy period of my life, between recording sessions and touring schedules, I'd always revert back to the latin music I loved growing up... Perez Prado, Tito Puente, and Santana, to name a few. I'd always respected Santana for melding Latin and rock music together. I often wondered how I might do that, as well".
In 2001, Michael produced the title track for Patty Griffin's Grammy nominated CD, "1000 Kisses". "Patty was always encouraging me with my recordings and compostions and the fact that they were very Latin based. The song 'Mil Besos' has always been one of my favorite Spanish standards, so I suggested we record it. The response I got from that tune, plus the fun we had doing it made me realize that I could write and record an album of my own".
This led to the making of Ramos' soon to be released "Loteria" CD for Triloka Records. The CD includes twelve songs that fuse traditional Latin instruments with deep, urban, grooves. The result is one of sheer movement and joy. At once sensual and exotic, it delivers music of the soul for the soul. "I'm so proud of this collection of songs, I hope it will become a daily soundtrack to peoples' lives".
Currently, Michael is splitting his touring schedule between John Mellencamp and Patty Griffin. He also continues to produce and compose in his studio, "The Cumbia Lounge", as well as in his virtual "Cumbia Lounge" touring studio.