Michael Bogart with former President Jimmy Carter

Contributed Photo

Michael Bogart poses for a photo with the 39th President of the United States Jimmy Carter. Carter a former member of the U.S. Navy was attending his class reunion at the Naval Academy when the two met.

CHICAGO – Michael Bogart’s music career began with the piano, but it was the trumpet that gave him his success.

A talented musician, a native of the Montague area, Bogart attended Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in his youth, and graduated from the Interlochen Arts Academy in 1986. The prestigious boarding school is both a high school and summer program that focuses on the fine arts. Notable alumni include: Josh Groban, Nora Jones, and Larry Page the co-founder of Google.

Afterward Bogart said he went to the University of Miami in Florida, but feeling burned out with school decided to drop out and join the Navy in 1988. At 51, he will be retiring from the Navy, and will be returning to school at the Royal Academy of Music in London, England to get his graduate degree.

He currently lives in Chicago.

Bogart did two stints in the Navy, the first of which lasted 10 years, when he spent nine of those years overseas. Afterward, Bogart lived in San Diego where he managed to get work playing in jazz trumpeter Maynard Ferguson’s band, and then with the Tower of Power.

Bogart said when he first auditioned for Tower of Power he didn’t get the job. He lacked professional experience, but once he had played with Maynard Ferguson they decided to give him a second look and he joined the band in 2000.

In addition to touring and recording with Tower of Power, Bogart has worked with Aerosmith, Neil Diamond and recorded music for video games based on the Dragon Ball Z cartoon franchise.

However, he always kept a foot in the door with the Navy. He worked with their music program and did recruiting. In 2009 he returned to the Navy.

While there he got to play trumpet for former President Jimmy Carter. Carter is a U.S. Naval Academy alumni, and was attending his class reunion where Bogart was playing.

Afterward, Carter had requested to meet with Bogart to tell him how much he appreciated his playing.

Spending another 10 years in the Navy, Bogart retired on Friday, July 12. He will be using some of his Navy education benefits to pay for his schooling in London.

Bogart said he will be getting his masters in jazz studies. He has a deep appreciation for jazz, and said he loves the improvisational nature of the genre.

However, growing up Bogart started out listening to classical music, and had intended to pursue it when he was studying at the University of Miami. While there he always felt like he had a talent for jazz.

“My parents had an extensive record collection. I first liked classical, but became equally fascinated with jazz,” said Bogart.

Bogart said of all the jazz sub-genres his favorite is the hard bop style. Musicians in that genre include: Freddie Hubbard, John Coltrane and Lee Morgan.

Going to London to play music wasn’t something he initially pursued on his own. Instead, he was approached by a faculty member, who is thew head of the jazz department, to join the graduate program.

After all his success with music, Bogart said, “I’m a life long student of music and trumpet. I never felt like I’ve learned it all. I’m passionate to get better at playing.”

The faculty member was familiar with Bogart’s talent and saw on Facebook that he had a desire to return to school.

Bogart will be moving to London later this year to pursue his degree. He said his kids are grown, and that he is excited to start this next chapter in his life.