Band member: 2004
Instruments: Trumpet, piano, baritone horn, baraban, snare drum
Other gigs: Composer of scores and soundscapes for video, theater, CD-ROMs, art installations, and the Portland, Oregon Metro Zoo. Music educator at Jefferson High School and the Vancouver School of Arts and Academics. Orchestrator and arranger for jazz big band, choir, orchestra, wind ensemble. Player and/or arranger with 3 Leg Torso; Do Jump! Movement Theatre; Klezmocracy; The Original Cats; Kamikaze Ground Crew (the Flying Karamazov Brothers' house band); Lung Tung; Yankl Falk; Tarik Banzi; POD; Mazel Tov Orchestra; Robin Lane; Oslund and Company; dancers Judy Patton and Minh Tran, Oregon Ballet Theatre, International Tap Festival. Additional gigs too numerous to mention. Musical interests other than klezmer include jazz, blues, Bach, Afro-Cuban music, Spanish-Arabic music, Irish music, and gospel music.
Profile: Versatile multi-instrumentalist Mike Van Liew, newest member of The Klezmorim, has been part of the band's extended family for years. He collaborated musically with the Flying Karamazov Brothers in the 1980s, shortly before the Karamazovs collaborated with The Klezmorim. Mike has also performed with Klezmorim co-founder Lev Liberman in the bands Klezmocracy and Lung Tung.
On The Klezmorim's comeback tour of Holland in 2004, Mike seemed to be everywhere at once, filling out the band's sound righteously on multiple brass and percussion instruments. From bluesy klezmer wails on trumpet to ethereally plaintive piano riffs and kick-out-the-jams street drumming, Mike adds an assertive yet harmonious voice to the ensemble's ongoing musical discourse.