Award winning jazz musician Michael Wolff’s journey nearly ended six years ago at Mt Sinai Beth Israel Hospital in lower Manhattan. After being worked on by doctors and nurses for most of the night, Wolff, with the perfect timing only a world class musician would have, regained consciousness just in time to hear one of the doctors ask his wife if he had a DNR. Before she could even ask what that was, Wolff used his last ounce of energy to gasp, “Resuscitate me!”
After being treated for the wrong cancer for a year and a half, it was discovered that Wolff had an ultra-rare, untreatable cancer called histiocytic sarcoma and had three months to live.
Fortunately, he was someone accustomed to surviving the odds.
Wolff had already survived a painful childhood overshadowed by Tourette’s Syndrome, where his brilliance as a jazz pianist and passion for music are what saw him through. He went on the road at 19, not only performing with some of the great luminaries of Jazz, but also conducting over 25 symphony orchestras worldwide.
In 1989, Wolff was chosen to be the musical director of Arsenio Hall’s groundbreaking late-night talk show, which was extravagantly praised for its diversity of musical guests and brilliant house band. It was through The Arsenio Hall show that Wolff became a household name and where he met and eventually married Actor/Writer/Director Polly Draper when she was a guest on the show. (Their two sons, Nat and Alex Wolff are now highly successful actors and musicians in their own right, so the talent was passed on to the next generation.)
In the meantime, Wolff has released 21 albums to critical and popular acclaim, written award-winning scores to movies and television series and has managed to beat an untreatable cancer.
His compelling story begins with his fish-out-of-water story in the segregated South, then moves to politically turbulent Berkley, California in the early sixties and then it takes him around the world as he earns his stripes as a world class Jazz musician.
ON THAT NOTE is more than a memoir. It is like a Jazz score with words, taking the reader on the wild journey of Wolff’s singular life. It is a life driven by a passion for music and a passion for being alive. Sometimes hilarious and sometimes harrowing, Wolff’s story instantly sweeps us up with it and charms us with a unique voice. Many books claim to be “page turners.” This one actually delivers.