Please order any edition from Amazon at the link below. There are three versions: black-and-white paperback, e-book (EPUB, pdf or Kindle), and now, AUDIOBOOK. (Kindle Unlimited customers may read the e-book for free, and Audible subscribers may purchase the audiobook for one credit.)
PAPERBACK: 230-page 6 x 9 paperback with 47 black and white photos. Chronicles the history of a unique American stringed instrument from the perspective of one of the inventor’s first music students. The story begins in southern California as one of the first Stick players and winds through Phoenix, AZ; Reno, NV; Sacramento, CA; Maui, HI; Palm Springs, CA; and finally, Sedona, AZ. Along the way, you’ll encounter UFOs, crazy festivals, flying, and even a Buddhist cult. You’ll enjoy the ride– even the bumpy parts!
E-BOOK: Same as above, but in full color! Available in EPUB, PDF, or Kindle formats.
AUDIOBOOK: Narrated by the author. Total playing time is 10 hrs. 11 min.
Tenacious musician finally makes good on a freaky-cool instrument. One of the earliest adopters of a radical new innovation in stringed instruments, Michael Kollwitz, recounts the history of The Chapman Stick and his struggles and successes under the tutelage of the late inventor Emmett Chapman. Seen from the perspective of one of the first Stick students, Kollwitz takes you along as he chronicles the many stages of his musical career that culminate with Billboard charting albums and worldwide recognition on the best musical instrument you’ve never heard of.
“It’s no small miracle that Mike Kollwitz found The Stick. It’s safe to say that Mike was there from the beginning, a first adopter and brave explorer of this new way of making music. In this book, he shows that it is possible to follow your own muse, to be true to yourself, and to make music that feeds your spirit.” – Jim Reilly, Author of StickMan: The Story of Emmett Chapman and the Instrument He Created.
When he was five years old, Michael Kollwitz and his family traded a Brooklyn, NY, brownstone apartment for sunny southern California. Kollwitz took an early interest in music, playing the trumpet for ten years in school bands. Right out of high school, in 1976, Kollwitz met inventor Emmett Chapman and discovered the innovative new stringed instrument that Chapman called The Stick. Kollwitz immediately fell in love with The Stick and became one of Chapman’s lifelong friends and first proteges.
In the early 1980s, alongside his music, Kollwitz had a career in the radio communications industry as a professional salesperson. He had a slow start but, with the proper training, eventually broke sales records for several of his employers. Kollwitz went full-time with his music in 2003 after a sudden downturn in the telecom sector. With no label, agent, or manager, he self-booked festivals, fairs, weddings, and corporate events. Over the next twenty years, he had over thirty independent releases, making him one of The Stick’s strongest advocates and most prolific recording artists.
Breaking new ground with his trilogy of peaceful Serenity albums, he gained listeners worldwide and made the Billboard New Age charts. His soothing compositions can be heard daily in over 1200 hospitals nationwide on the CARE Channel. In 2023, he authored the book, Stick With It to chronicle his early involvement with The Stick and lifelong friendship with his mentor, the late Emmett Chapman.
A winner of multiple arts grants that helped to expand his career, in 2022, Kollwitz began training to become a Keynote Artist- blending music and humor to share his message of tapping into your personal creativity and achieving your dreams by solving problems creatively and Sticking With It. Kollwitz is a member of the National Speaker Association, a private pilot, and an amateur radio operator. A husband and father of two, he currently resides in the red rock country of Sedona, Arizona.