Michael Backus

Michael Backus

Applied Guitar
Guitar Class


Michael Backus is a guitarist, recording artist and educator who lives in Portland. He has been teaching guitar for most of his adult life at public schools, colleges, workshops and private studios in the Northwest.

Originally from Southern Idaho, Michael moved to Oregon to study jazz at Mt. Hood Community College and Portland State University, where he completed his bachelor’s degree focusing on jazz guitar performance and composition. He studied guitar and music with Dan Gidea, Dan Balmer, John Stowell, Darrell Grant and Alan Jones. After college, he made Portland home and is thankful to be a thread in the wonderful musical tapestry that Oregon offers.

His wide-ranging interests have enabled Michael to perform and record with many acoustic, folk, blues, jazz and soul artists and bands. He also writes and sings original folk music and records, arranges and produces music for commercial use. Michael believes that anyone can play music; it requires practice and a willingness to learn new things.

When not making music, Michael enjoys photography, nature, woodworking and the art of taco creation and blissful disappearance.