Mike and Linda Coates
Mike and Linda Coates are an accomplished musical team. As performers, recording artists, teachers and composers they combine their classical training together with decades of experience as professional musicians in the popular music world. In 1995 Mike and Linda built a recording studio and launched their own record label--Raptor Studios and Barking Dog Records--to bring their unique blend of classical and pop music to 90s audiences hungry for a new music and aesthetic, and to assist talented local artists of every genre to realize their musical dreams and launch their careers.
Guitarist Mike Coates spent more than a decade as a touring and recording artist with the successful midwestern art-rock bands WHITEWING and ASIA (follow these links for complete histories and lots of pictures). He earned both Bachelor's and Master's Degrees in Music Performance, and taught for ten years at Moorhead State University in Moorhead, Minnesota as Assistant Professor of Guitar and Audio Production. During that time he initiated an annual student sampler recording project, Dragon Tracks, and staged many spectacular rock stage shows in addition to performing as a featured classical guitar soloist in recitals and orchestra performances.
Vocalist Linda Coates was most recently the Executive Director of the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony and, previously, Executive Director of Lake Agassiz Arts Council in Fargo, North Dakota. She came to the arts administration field from the world of teaching, including four years as a voice teacher in the Music Department of Moorhead State University in Moorhead, Minnesota. She earned two Bachelor's Degrees and a Master's Degree in Vocal Music, and has also worked for twenty years as a freelance graphic designer.
Classical guitar forms the foundation of the set of four seasonal recordings released by "Mike & Linda Coates and Friends" on Barking Dog Records: The Summer Air, Fall in Love, Winter's Night and An Early Spring. Often categorized as "classical crossover," "light classical" or "classical/pop," the music ranges from an Elizabethan lute song or traditional carol to a King Crimson ballad or Coates original, all united by classical guitar, lush vocals and delicate acoustic arrangements.
The eclectic musical mix, superb musicianship, vocal variety, rich acoustic instrumentation and flawless production combine to appeal to a listening audience looking beyond pop and new age, yet perhaps unfamiliar with or intimidated by traditional classical music. Music by Mike and Linda Coates truly combines the best of both musical worlds.
Mike and Linda perform as a duo for various events in the Upper Midwest -- from Opera Company and Symphony Orchestra fundraisers to art gallery recitals, coffeehouse performances and banquet programs (see the Gig Page for current performance dates). They travel with an oustanding sound system -- Yamaha digital mixer, powered JBL Eon Speakers and superb studio microphones -- Mike and Linda strive to recreate, as closely as possible, the pristine and warm sounds captured on their albums.
Buy CDs by Mike and Linda Coates online at Fargostuff.com.
Flutist Debora Harris (pictured left) and Mike Coates perform around the USA as the Harris Coates Duo - notable invitational performances include the National Flute Association Convention in 2005, 2001 and 1998 (an event which draws more than 4,000 flutists from around the world) and the College Music Society convention in Boulder, CO in October 1999.
Visit the Harris-Coates Duo website for information on their three CD releases, full bios, sound clips and more.