Michael Kollwitz

Fanimonials on my 46TH ANNIVERSARY as a Stickist

On 12/29/22 (my 46th anniversary as a Chapman Stick player) I asked my Facebook friends the following:

“Will you help me celebrate my 46TH ANNIVERSARY as a Chapman Stick player? Please post here a few words about any memorable times we shared together. (Yes— you!) We’ve happily crossed paths over the years (online or in person) and if you could just take a moment to help me remember those wonderful times it would mean the world to me! For example, Who? What? Where? When? Anything you can recall would make my celebration complete. Thank you, dear friends!” 

I was blown away by the many wonderful comments and they are still arriving! You can read all of them (plus my replies) here in the original Facebook post:


If you are not on Facebook but want to read them another way, here they are (less replies):

Diana Chapman Lang

As a child, what I remember most about you, is that you came bounding and laughing into our Yucca Trail house with the enthusiasm and friendliness of a joyful Labrador – all golden and smiles and wagging tail – and then went on to become a most golden and sparkling Stick player. You are generous and kind, warm and compassionate and you bring so much joy wherever you go, Mike!

Jim Reilly

Happy Stick-iversary Mike! We’ve spent a fair bit of time connecting over the last little while. It’s been a treat for me, and I’m looking forward to spending more time together.

Evan Scott Gross

wedding Maui 2012…awesome

Larry Sedona Robertson

Byron drive in Sacramento .

Karen Rider

“Chick and the Stick” – happy memories!! You were awesome to work with!

Darryl King

Ahhh, the little casita on 13th with Roger the roomy. Turns out your landlady was the mother of a coworker of mine at Flood Control… I digress. Many evenings listening to stick music, the analog tape loop machine, various pedals, a lot of cheap beer and an endless parade of friends and acquaintances. I love the Serenity series, You’ve come a long baby!

Helena Van Orden

Smiling…. all the memories of 1976 listening 

 with your genuine laughter, talented skills as the music played.

Thank you, always.

all smiles enjoying the music and friendship 

Mike Green

HAHA knew you when you were a new player. Does not seem that long ago. Oh wait maybe it does…Congrats

Andrea Monticchio Monroe

Congratulations, Michael! My husband and I met you on Kauai many years ago. We were drawn to the music we were hearing from an instrument we weren’t familiar with. You graciously explained the Chapman stick and we bought your cd from you. Been followers ever since!

L.A. Fredrickson

Lahaina on Maui close to the Banyon tree 2008

Charlotte Taylor

Congrats, saw you for the 1st time in 2001 in Lahaina

Tammy Sullivan

My daughter and I met you at the Cal State fair one year- 2002/ 2003. We both loved your music so much- we bought 2 of every cd you had. One for me, one for her……..I listen often – took cd’s with during chemo infusions

I also have your Frosty the Stickman- photo to follow

Amber Stapleton, I remember this day- fun memories with you ox Momma

Tammy Sullivan

Here’s Frosty- great addition to our holiday nights by the fire

Thank you Michael, great music, darling memories 

 with my daughter Amber Stapleton do you remember?

Evan Scott Gross

we met under the Banyan tree in 2010, and you played at my son’s wedding 2 years later at the Marriott!

Ken Kollwitz

As your brother, we have shared LOTS of good times together and many while you were playing the stick. With all the diving I do many of my trips leave from the 22nd Street landing in San Pedro, CA, and when I load and unload I always pass the Monty Carlo fishing boat. This always makes me remember the Booze Cruises mom ran in Ventura, CA and you would always play the stick on them. Great times!!!

Chris Trochez

New Orleans, sat down to eat with you and your wife at the ZMR Awards meeting and greet. Loved your story and the next night your music when you performed at the House of Blues for your he awards show. You are by far a total class act.

Douglas Bass

Is there anyone besides you who have been playing the Stick for 46 years?!? I’m happy that so many people have been enjoying your music.

Steven Von Wald

Playing together from the Real Book – “Hey, if you see this half diminished symbol you need to lower the fifth a half step.” 

Steve Adelson

You’re one of the originals. Not sure of our first meeting, but there were many.

Bob’s California seminar 2003, Sedona of course…., I think my brother dated your agent at one point. Congrats on 46 years. 50 is around the corner

Michael Isam

That’s awesome! Congratulations!

We were at the Awards ceremony in New Orleans.

I forget the year.

Deborah Haynes

Countless memories of you interacting with the guests at Sky Rock but in particular loved the times there were children that were so fascinated with you and the magical unicorn!

Dave Hockett

Congratulations on keeping the music alive Michael! We go back a few years pre-stick. Palm School to be exact and I think you were in my brother’s class.


James Bailey

You performed at an Earth Day Arizona event I helped produce. We hung out together. I got the impression that you were a a bit of a womanizer.

Virginia Updegrove

I met you when you loaned an amp to another Chapman Stick player, Leo Gosselin. He came to Tucson from Winnipeg and could not bring an amp. You delivered it to him. Then on the next trip that Leo came on we met at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix. How many can say they have gone to the museum with two stick players? Oh by the way, 46 is my favorite number. Congratulations on your successful career.

Mark Gifford

A magical night at The Hub in Sedona, where after your amazing set, you jammed a few tunes with Walt and his EWI. Pure music, at the highest level.

Congrats, my friend!

Eric Warp

Never met in person, but at the California State Fair many years ago we were getting a gyro in the food alley, and your music was playing over the loudspeaker. I asked the guy behind the counter if he knew what the music was. He said, “A guy named Michael Kollwitz. He was playing here earlier.”

When we got home, I tracked you down on the Interwebs to CD Baby. I think you had four or five CDs. I bought all of them.

You were our family’s soundtrack for quite a while!

Merry Mattox

Maui a few times and also Sedona …my two favorite places! Keep the music flowing 

Don Schiff

Yay Michael! We have crossed paths a few times and I believe you were even at my house. Your playing has always impressed me… and ya know what? Still does! 46 years of playing Michael, I gotta say, “Time we’ll spent.” Happy Anniversary!”

Marc Spritzer

We met in Hawaii and you gave me my first official lesson!

Dyanna Nichols

I met you perhaps ten years ago Michael Kollwitz, at Reds, and your music style made quite an impression on me. I had never heard of The Stick. What made more of an impression on me, was your kind, open, thoughtful demeanor. You were not the egocentric, half drunk, doing-recreational-drugs-in-between-sets-type-of-musician that I was used to seeing perform in Sedona. Instead, the idea of class and kindness was brought to the table, with a gorgeous, unique play style. Michael, you changed my perspective on local musicians. May you have many more years of playing and spreading joy around our big Ol’ world. Thank you, and it has been a pleasure knowing you. Happy New Year! 

Christy Fisher

“All the leaves were brown ..and the sky was gray …I went for a walk ..on a winters day …stopped into a church that was on the way….

” …………..

I heard music coming from the chapel in Tlaquepaque and followed the sound …. It was a beautiful afternoon ….there was hardly anyone else in there, so you chatted a bit in between songs …I loved the music and the instrument

Celine Lowe McRory

Michael congratulations on 46 years of bringing joy to others through your music. I first met you when you and Christine stayed with us in Ocean View Hawaii in 2006. You were on your way to Captain Cook and on to Maui. Over the years we met both of you in Maui and Palm Springs. Next time we make it to Sedona we will meet again. We enjoy your many CD’s and they have been the background music for many a party. Congratulations!

Lance Israel

Well you know our magical story. First time we met we shared the same gig in Maui under the amazing banyan tree in Lahaina. We took turns playing a few songs each and then you suggested we play one together. Our wives seemed to give their nod of approval and then a little later we played another and right after a woman walked up to your table and asked if you had anything like what we just played. Then you looked over at me and said, “We’re gonna have to make a cd.” The next time we met 2 weeks later under that same tree and did just that. Unforgettable, magical, still playing Under the Banyan Tree. Love you brother. Thank you for the memories and the music and Happy 46th anniversary!!

Eileen Johnson

We love you as a friend & we loved the intimacy of seeing you here in the VOC at Corner Table restaurant when it was here.

Bill Haney

We met by me following your music in the forest of SoCal. Then again in Sedona I was honored to see ya play .

Lisa Franceschi Schnaidt

I first heard you play in Sacramento. When my sister in law was dying from cancer, I reached out to see if you were available to play at our house for a goodbye party I’d arranged for her. She wanted a chance to be with family and friends and colleagues from the Modesto Symphony. People flew in from around the country. You graciously played for us all. It was a magical time and imprinted on us all forever. You wouldn’t even allow me to pay you for your time! Your kindness will always be treasured, Michael. Your cds are played in our home and hearts forever. 

Lynda Clayton


 you are a truly an amazing musician and talent.

I can’t remember exactly how I met you. But you were authentic and real and I liked that. Then I was entranced listening and watching you play. You explained the instrument to me.

I saw you again performing by the Banyan Tree on Maui and it was like running into a forever friend.

I’ve been a huge fan Michael and I will forever. Best wishes always! Hugs! 

Janet Mawdesley

I know you through your beautiful music which has bought joy, pleasure and memories of exotic place whenever it is played. One of the true joys of reviewing music is meeting people such as you and discovering music of all different genres.

Nick Odenthal

Well worked on your car have herd you play briefly around sedona then saw your preforming on a video from the cowboy church this year provided by rocky to witch to warmed my heart

Benjamin Lapidus

Amazing! I’m on year 34

Louann Fouquet Dugas

The ZMR award show the first time we met! Then the ZMR show where you performed and collaborated with Jeff Oster….AMAZING!!

Gene Espinosa

You played as the entertainment for ELP and Jethro Tull back stage!

Eric Parnell

You were the first person I ever saw playing a Chapman stick, at Highland Springs Ranch in Cherry Valley, CA. Probably 8 years ago now. I was shocked that I had never heard of one before, a delightful surprise!

Steve Bauer

Serious Six! Need I say more? Love you, Mike, your music is exquisite!

Carol Gilliland

My husband and I heard you play at the Banyan Tree Art Fair in Lahaina. The music was magical.

Tim Byrne

Lookin good Mike. Be Well

Rachel Smith-Boutilier

You made my wedding day pure magic, our guests were in disbelief of your talent. Thank you. Happy anniversary

Dale Ladouceur

Michael, here’s to meeting & jamming with you in the future

Frank Dupree

I loved you covering my breaks when I was playing at Jazzmen’s in Old Sacramento. First time I had seen one up close. I was blown away. circa 2001. Glad to see you’re still in the saddle…congrats!!

Trish Mahoney

Your private concert you performed for mike and l

in Alan’s living room

Ron Melmon

Man that is fun to have that receipt! Happy New Year MK!

Ron Shain

We met at the Sedona Airport

Bonnie Wall Call

Bonnie and Ron Call, meeting you for the first time and learning about the Chapman stick. Where? Maui, various places. The Banyan tree for one. You’re the best and so glad we’re friends!

Brianna Seaberg

Seeing you play in Sedona!!

Chuck Hughes

When I saw you in the newly-released Free Hands I thought “I’m not the only one who’s nuts.”

Brian Dixon

Jamming with you and a guy named Paul Mozingo and generally just being welcomed by some cool kids from Southern California.

Kaj Strang

YES! My first Stick since 1981 untill my 3 here Sweden/Finland.

Grant Aagard

I first met you on a street corner in old town Sacramento. I still listen to the 2 signed CDs I bought that day.

Then I happened to come across you again under the Banyan tree in The 50th state.

Kimberly Brawner Wolf

Palm Elementary School all the way through High School….been a minute…you were such a naughty little boy 

Gregory Smith

I met you in CA at your cousin Brian’s place

You were amazing then even more so now

Ken Cardita

About 4yrs ago I met you at the Tempe Festival of the Arts when you were performing. We talked alot about the Stick. You invited me to Sedona for an upcoming CD release performance that I attended. You invited me back to the green room and introduced me to Rick Cucuzza. About a week after that I ordered my first Chapman Stick.

Al Harty

There was a wonder and a glow, as side-by-side artists among other artists, for 6 years at our art fairs under the Lahaina banyan tree. You were inspired to go in many directions with your music, and wrote some memorable compositions! We will never forget those special times! Thanks for the memories! Aloha, Al

Rick Cucuzza

I think it was Yuta that originally connected us. You were living in Phoenix at the time, about 30 some years ago. You made the trip up to Prescott and the rest is history. I believe you’re the only Stick player on the planet that didn’t come over from another instrument. A true pioneer!

Graham Pelletier

Met you a few times on Maui, at Whalers Village. I had only seen 1 other stick player before and he was in Boulder,CO in 1978-9 and worked at a guitar shop. You provided a great ambience and set a very mellow mood for the area. Very much appreciate your talent and dedication to your instrument. Keep on tapping!

Pennie Zuiderweg

I went to Sacramento to your house years ago and enjoyed having a Chapman Stick lesson. Good memories!


The other guy looks the way u did when I met you at banyan tree park. Years ago. You were amazing.

Lillian Guenther

First time I heard you play was at Mimi’s in Maui Have a few of you CD’s Love to you both.. Happy New year

Dean Hanson

2002? Sacramento International Airport. Terminal A. Listening to your amazing talent while we manned the security check point after 9-11. We met up in Maui years later. I’m so grateful we met and stayed in touch. I feel like you’re family!

Darren Joy

I don’t have any stories.. but I count myself lucky to be in your friends list!

Leslie Hemberger Latour

Christmas jam

Mika Villaren

Shops at Wailea!! Chapman n da Uke!!

Moon light Swim!! Most Awesome Time with you!! I’ll always cherish those memories that we made Making people smile while serving up food for the ears into the soul! Miss you my brother


Mika Villaren

Hana Hou!!

Mary Walker

Michael, you visited Virginia Updegrove, my neighbor at La Cholla Airpark near Tucson, about ten years ago. Your playing was a revelation of the full, beautiful and rich sounds possible on a Chapman Stick in the hands of a talented musician! I think I played dulcimer along with you. An unforgettable experience. Come back soon!

Jim Brennan

2016 Encampment Estes Park Colorado. I pray you and Christine are well!

Steve Hargrave

Maui Wave I think was the name of that studio, where we spent the whole day recording a butt load of songs. What a blast.

Louise Short

First time seeing you and hearing you play at an art opening in Reno! 96 or 97? Been a fan ever since!

Liz Krohn

That’s awesome! Congratulations! You are an amazing musician. Love having your cd’s.

Joyanne Jeffery

Happy Anniversary!!!

Karen Seeley

I was just in Maui and looking for you TV playing your Chapman stick to greet the ships and you were not there and they have changed the port where they pull in so I had to drive to Lahaina.

Charlotte Taylor

Congrats, saw you for the 1st time in 2001 in Lahaina

Vickie Newell

You playing so beautifully under the Banyon tree on Maui. Unforgettable!!!

L.A. Fredrickson

Lahaina on Maui close to the Banyon tree 2008

Andrea Monticchio Monroe

Congratulations, Michael! My husband and I met you on Kauai many years ago. We were drawn to the music we were hearing from an instrument we weren’t familiar with. You graciously explained the Chapman stick and we bought your cd from you. Been followers ever since!

Don Montarbo

I can still remember the first time you performed at Cambrian Park in San Jose, Cs. I couldn’t believe the sound of the stick.

Nemathena Parthenon

Fun meeting and your wife at Larry’s house. Also hearing you play in Uptown and at Tlaquepaque.