Michael Ross has released a brand new CD single entitled Your Brother's Keeper     Michael Ross said he was inspired by President Barack Obama's"My Brother's Keeper Initiative Program" to write this song. The purpose of his program was to put more focus on our youth by giving them more opportunities to succeed in life. I've had the opportunity to teach and work with young teenager for six years, and I understand the need for more mentoring and giving constructive guidance. I've also noticed the rise in violence with young teens in the city of Chicago and our nation. This song was written to send a message that we must begin to be the keeper and the protector of each other. "You've got to be Your Brother's Keeper".  ”
  Michael Ross and The Boss 8 Ensemble Winner of the African American Arts Alliance of Chicago  for Black Excellence Award - Jazz  ”

— American Arts Alliance of Chicago

  Michael Ross performs a tribute to Nat King Cole with his eight piece band ensemble at the ETA Chicago Theater.        ”
 Michael Ross--A Special Thing This smoky, seductive slice of smooth jazz comes with the added bonus of some of the finest male vocals I’ve heard in quite some time, barring a few special names.  Guitarist/ vocalist/composer Michael Ross, who is no stranger to the genre (having released 3 other CDs dating back to the late 90s), pours on the charm in abundance, both with his guitar and his easy, silky vocals, with his latest offering, A Special Thing. With an opening and title track that sways with that special rhythm that might remind one of walking along the shores of Rio de Janeiro, hand-in-hand with that special someone, Ross sets a delightfully tasteful tone that starts here and might move through the end of the album, but certainly not to the end of the experience.  I honestly couldn’t decide which I liked better: The vocals or his arrangements. While he is a very fine guitarist, I think you’ll agree that the magnetic draw here would be the very attractive compositions accentuated by a very able voice.  A combination that’s always proven to be pretty irresistible.  Besides the title track, Ross glides through a charmer called “The Blaze,” a mellow yet intense mid-tempo piece of romance that knows not a thing about mediocrity. Original, flavorful, and fluid, the tune is ablaze with charisma. Lovers, you may as well settle back into the arms of your "squeeze," your "boo," or whatever you're lovingly calling that significant for this one, as Ross pulls no punches with his alluring vibe.  Ross’ take-no-prisoners approach is surely bound to capture many a heart.  Painting the vivid imagery of sensuality in motion as the candlelight dances along the walls of a soft environment created just for two, this artist knows how to hold the listener captive. Case in point would be his creative cover of the Bread classic, “Make It With You.” Beyond the swaying scat and cool of Al Jarreau and Kem and the sophistication of Will Downing, I have not heard so much class and culture placed into one song.  In fact, there are some pleasant similarities between these artists and Ross throughout this production. Following “Make It With You,” flutist/saxophonist Najee drops by to place his own indelible signature on the peppy and suave “The Secret Door.”  This stepped-up groove is a momentary departure from the seduction that Ross has obviously labored to effect, yet it works itself well into the fabric of the project.If you needed one word to describe Ross’ work here, it would be polish…to a spit-shine.  This is a seamless testament to the conversation between romance and smooth jazz, the way it was always meant to be conveyed. --  Ronald JacksonAmazon MP3 clips available  http://www.amazon.com/A-Special-Thing/dp/B00334FDHK/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&s=dmusic&qid=1263578579&sr=1-7      ” - Ron Jackson


Michael Ross, advertised in Jazziz Magazine Winter Issue on page 86 interview on page 94 http://www.jazziz.com/pageflip/Winter20102011CharlesLloydCriticsChoices/pageflip.html    ”

— Jazziz Magazine

Fresh Trax: Part One The River Walk - Michael Ross: Hailing from Chicago, Michael Ross is locally renowned as a guitarist and vocalist who got his first break with a touring company production of "the wiz". A few years back, Ross scored a bit of hit with The Last Love Letter, the near title track from his 1996 sophomore release. In the interim, Ross has 'given back' to the community as a music educator while sharing the stage with some great entertainers in the likes of Ramsey Lewis and Norman Connors. Additionally, he's continued to record with A Special Thing as the new one - from that effort we've selected a great tune called The River Walk!! CD: A Special Thing (2009) Label: MIHI Records       ”

— Cafe" Jazz Radio

    Beth Lewis Words such as versatile, resourceful and diligent are apt when speaking of guitarist Michael Ross. Not only a recording artist; he is the staff guitarist at Chicago’s Schubert Theatre; has performed with artists such as Ramsey Lewis, Najee, Nancy Wilson and Jonathan Butler; and is a music instructor for a local Chicago Community Center’s after school program. With his latest release, A SPECIAL THING, Mr. Ross continues down a musical path he began in 1992 with WE FINALLY MEET. The tunes are lush and thoughtful with guitar performances that are fluid and seemingly effortless. Amble down “The River Walk,” and you’ll be transported to a place where bliss and joy abound. Ross showcases his vocal aptitude on the gorgeous “Come On Over.” His singing style is rich and seductive, holding attention from start to finish. Featuring Najee, “The Secret Door” grabs the listener and does not let go. A SPECIAL THING is just that so take time to savor it. ~BETH LEWIS   ” - Beth Lewis

— Smooth Jazz. Com

  "Reloaded"  CD   SmoothJazz.com Review author: Sandy Shore From the jazz drenched town of Chicago comes a Smooth Jazz home run from guitarist Michael Ross. RELOADED is fully loaded with thirteen tunes… a compilation of his best songs chosen from his previous albums, plus an added addition of two new arrangements of Curtis Mayfield’s “Gypsy Woman” (instrumental and vocal). For those who have been anxiously waiting for the return of this smooth groover, you’ll be very glad to have this collection. For those who don’t know about Michael Ross, allow us to assure you, he captures the very essence of Smooth Jazz in his songs. His effortless playing is what most guitarists strive for. There’s depth and grace in his playing with room to breath. Michael is of the George Benson, Norman Brown ilk in regard to his ability to synch silky rich vocals with his captivating guitar playing. Nominated by Chicago Music Awards organization for The Best Jazz Contemporary CD in 2004, Michael has played and performed with well-known musicians including Chicago’s own Ramsey Lewis as well as Najee, Angela Bofill, Jonathan Butler, Chaka Khan, Patti LaBelle and many others. We’re hoping that on the heels of RELOADED Mr. Ross stays takes his artistry ammunition back into the studio as soon as possible to record more world-class music… the stars are aligned and it’s time for Michael Ross to take his rightful place among the Smooth Jazz greats.             ” - Sandy Shore

— Smooth Jazz. Com

Dear Mr. Ross: We Want to thank you for your outstanding performance at the June 14th Music Monday event at ETA Creative Arts Foundation. Your performance was intense and outstanding, and we sincerely hope that you felt the love in the room coming from our audience. Our patrons gave rave reviews on our comment cards. Please know that we greatly appreciate the time and effort that went into your performance and we surely look  forward to another performance in the future. It is because of artist like you that ETA has gained it's reputation for hosting the very best artists residing in the Chicago area. Iris C. Dunmore  ” - Iris C. Dunmore

— ETA - Creative Arts Foundation Inc.

MICHAEL ROSS – A SPECIAL THING CD £12.95 (ANTICIPATED 9 FEBRUARY 2010)Michael Ross is a Smooth Jazz guitarist of repute in the playing style of George Benson or Norman Brown.  On this excellent album full of smooth grooves, it is vocal tracks that take centre stage.  The opener ‘A Special Thing’ is a beautifully crafted song whose vocal has a touch of Jon Lucien and Will Downing to it.  ‘Don’t Make Your Move So Fast’ has a dreamier ambience, whereas ‘Come On Over’ is a strong ballad.  Smooth Jazzers will love the languid ‘The Blaze’, whilst ‘The Secret Door’ is funkier and ‘The River Walk’ is another strong groove. Excellent.”

Soul Brother Records

         By ROBERT FELTONContributing Reporter Those who have followed the music of smooth-jazz artist Michael Ross since his debut album We Finally Meet (1992) will find that his new album, A Special Thing, represents a different direction for his soundtrack for seduction. The recording, which was released on Sept. 22, contains many elements Ross is known for - sultry guitar and seductive vocals, mid-tempo drums and romantic soundscapes. Over the course of the last four years, Ross has taught music to high school students at Chicago West Community Music Center, 100 N. Central Park Ave., on the West Side. But he has always been a jazz musician and songwriter. As for his latest release, the CD seeks to add to the ambiance of a romantic interlude with the stirring saxophone of artist NaJee. I first met Najee 20 years ago at while performing with Angela Bofill ," says Ross. "I thought he  was a very outstanding talented musician. I continued to follow his music until last year, when we were both performing in a show , and we discussed the possibility of working together of my new record. Najee's input is especially felt on track six, "The Secret Door," when Ross' guitar duels with Najee's sax recall Herbie Hancock's recordings in the early 2000s. Meanwhile, Ross says that track five, "Make it With You," a Bread cover, was perhaps his favorite track on the album. That song has always been a personal favorite of mine," he says. "Performing it was a real joy. Ross, who grew up the youngest of five children on Chicago's West Side, has been involved in music since the age of 13, when his mother encouraged him to take guitar lessons. My mother wanted to assure that I would have a hobby to occupy my time outside of school, so she enrolled me into the Chicago School of Music. It was a great experience and from it I discovered a love for jazz music," he says. Afterward, Ross studied music at the Chicago Conservatory of Music and then attended Kennedy-King College, where he earned a degree in music instruction. In the years that followed, Ross would work as a staff guitarist for the New York Broadway National Touring Company's production of The Wiz and the Shubert Theater's productions of Dreamgirls and Evita. Most of the students come in with an open mind," says Ross. "They may not necessarily have been interested in jazz prior to taking my class, but they are willing to learn about the composition of the music. Ross says the enjoyment of teaching the students to sing is comparable to recording music in the studio. I enjoy working on music. It gives me an enormous amount of pleasure," he says. But I also love working with kids as well. I know how important it was for me to explore my interest in guitar. It is my way of giving back to the community and the kids are usually very open to learning new techniques. Nevertheless, it is his studio recordings that have gained Ross the esteem of his smooth-jazz colleagues such as Ramsey Lewis, with whom he shared a concert stage last year. A married father of three, Ross says that the biggest challenge of being in music is the amount of time he must spend away from his family while touring overseas. I have had the opportunity to see many beautiful countries, but being away from my family so much can be hard," says Ross. "I am very appreciative of my wife, Ola, for being so patient and understanding all these years.    ” - Robert Felton

— Austin Weekly News