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Michael Rais (b. 1983) started learning music/bass at the young age of six years old. Rais started learning bass from his uncle, Roger Rais. Roger put the bass in his hands and taught him to play Led Zeppelin songs. From then on, there was no turning back. Even though his parents never played any instruments formally, there was always music playing in the house. His parents are very supportive of music and the arts. Rais was and still is very influenced by the music of the 80's (Ask him about Tears for Fears), and Motown. In high school, he studied with Derek Weller (Toledo Symphony, Michigan Opera Theater, EMU).



After high school, Rais auditioned for Wayne State University and received a Full Scholarship (Music Talent Award) in 2001. At Wayne State, he studied with Maxim Janowsky (Detroit Symphony), Stephen Molina (Detroit Symphony), and Craig Rifel (Detroit Symphony). Rais was also the principal bassist in the Wayne State Symphony Orchestra (three years), and Wayne State Wind Symphony for four years. Rais graduated in the fall of 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in Music and  Instrumental Music Education. 


Double Basses:

- Peter Kauffman 3/4 Carved Double Bass

- Christopher 3/4 laminated Bass

Bass Bows/Rosin:

- 3 French Bows - Black Hair
- 1 French Carbon Fiber Eastman Bow
- Wiedoft Bass Rosin


Electric Basses:
- Michael Kelly: P04 Element (B&W)
- Michael Kelly: P05 Element (Red)

- Fender Squier Jazz - Fretless “Jaco Bass”

- Fender Squier Jazz - ‘77 Reissue
- Fender Squier Jazz - 'Biffy Clyro' Signature

- Fender Squier Precision - 'The Funk Machine'

- Schecter - 4 string studio custom

- Schecter - 5 string studio custom


- Ampeg - Portaflex 500 watt head
- Ampeg - Portaflex 2x10 cab
- Ampeg - Portaflex 1x15 cab
- Phil Jones Bass Amp: 100 watt

- Boss GT-8 Bass effects
- Joyo Compression Pedal
- Joyo Black Tuner Pedal

- Joyo Analog Delay Pedal
- Ditto Looper Pedal


- GHS Boomers - Light .40-.95 Long Scale​

- GHS Brite Flats - Ground Roundwound Alloy 52™ / Medium Scale / One set 049-108
- D'Addario Kaplan Double Bass strings med

- GruvGear fret wraps
- Planet Waves Cables

- GHS Fast Fret

- Lenovo 10"/12.4" Tablet

- iRig Bluetooth pedal
- Roadrunner bass cases

- Protec Bass Case

Performed with:

Martha Reeves and the Vandellas
The Original Vandellas
The Edsels
The Skyliners
The Classics

The Chiffons
The Contours
The Legendary Teenagers
The Crests
Shirley Alston Reeves of the Shirelles

The Coasters
The Reflections
The Marvelletes
The Crystals
Spyder Turner

Eddie Holman
The Marcels
The Cleftones
Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs
The Pink Flamingos
The Spaniels

Lou Christie
The Vogues
Ken Brady and The Casinos
The Volumes
Sonny Turner

Kathy Young

Chris Ruggerio

Reuben Robinson
The Motown Experience
Michigan Arab Orchestra
Leisa Parham
Melissa Berhing Jazz Quartet
Willie Jones
The Cowsills
The Fantastic Four

Deke and the Blazers

Phase 5
Tim Corwin (Ohio Express)
The Drifters
Emil Stucchio and The Classics

The Motortown All-Stars

The Trammps feat. Earl Young

Tommy Mara

The Flamingos
The Jarmels

Mark Scott's The Miracles
Michigan Arab Orchestra
Reno Philharmonic
Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra
Dearborn Symphony
Michigan Philharmonic
Southeastern Michigan Wind Ensemble

Lake St. Clair Symphony Orchestra (Principal Bassist)
Wayne State Symphony Orchestra
Wayne State Wind Symphony
Eastern Michigan University Ensembles
Detroit Civic Orchestra
Metro-Detroit school area musical

Accidentally Hip

Magic of Motown

Currently Performing with:
The Shades of Blue
Il Segreto String Quartet
South Eastern Michigan Wind Ensemble

The Transit Brothers

Recorded on albums:
Black Milk
Slum Village
Sniff Test
Il Segreto String Quartet

Transit Brothers


Michael Rais is an alumnus of Livonia Public Schools. He completed his bachelor's degree in music and music education at Wayne State University in 2006 and attended on a full scholarship. After attending Wayne State University, he completed his master's degree in Music Education from VanderCook College of Music in Chicago. Michael has been teaching for Livonia Public Schools since 2007. Mr. Rais was also nominated for teacher of the year during the 2013-2014 school year. He was announced in the spring of 2015 that he would be the Livonia Public Schools Middle School teacher of the year for the 2015-2016 school year.

Outside of the classroom, Mr. Rais is a very accomplished musician. He has performed all over North America as a touring bassist and musician. His main instrument is the electric bass and double bass. He has been playing bass for over 29 years. Some of his bass mentors include Roger Rais (Saga), Denny Finney (Zooster), Al Martin (Billie Holiday), Derek Weller (EMU, Michigan Opera Theater), Max Janowsky (Detroit Symphony), and Stephen Molina (Detroit Symphony). He won an award along with his ensemble Il Segreto String Quartet "Outstanding Small Ensemble" for 2014  and 2016 from the Detroit Music Awards. He is also an arranger. He has arranged music for The Motown Experience and many educational ensembles. He specializes in arranging pop music for string orchestra and full orchestra. His arrangements have been performed by Flint Symphony, Northwestern Symphony, and others.  

Active Memberships include:
MSBOA: Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association
ASTA: American String Teacher Association
ISB: International Society of Double Bassists
Band World / American Band College
Alumni Association for VanderCook College of Music

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