Mike Rayburn

World's Funniest Guitar Virtuoso

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Mike Rayburn was nominated in 2009 "Keynote Speaker of the Year" and "Solo Artist of the Year" by American Entertainment Magazine.

He was born breech with six fingers on his left hand. Mike's parents, being from a long line of glove salesmen, never saw the potential. They had the finger removed. However, what the scalpel couldn't change was Mike's fate to be a little odd and work with his hands. (It's all true but the glove salesmen part). 

Now, fulfilling his birthright Mike has actually been called, "The World's Funniest Guitar Virtuoso." (He'd settle for Cleveland's Funniest Guitar Virtuoso but... whatever). Mike currently performs over 120 shows per year and cuts from his "Mike Rayburn at Carnegie Hall" CD are in current rotation on XM Comedy, Sirius Comedy, and on countless morning radio shows nationwide. 

Concert promoter Mark Johnson described him like this: "If Victor Borge played guitar (and drank too much coffee), he'd sound like Mike." The Aspen Daily News raves, "A comic genius... enough wit and talent to jumpstart a pacemaker." 

First of all, Mike is an hilarious stand-up comic. His "Questions" bit and self-effacing commentaries are funny and wonderfully-warped. But what sets him apart is his masterful guitar work. 

Mike is also known for combining musical artists and styles in ways God never intended. "Bob Marley sings Garth Brooks." "Led Zeppelin sings Dr. Seuss." "Dan Fogelberg sings AC/DC," "Bruce Springsteen sings Green Acres," etc. Putting his guitar skills to work, Mike is taking on a new challenge: instrumental comedy

His first piece in this genre appears on his live "Mike Rayburn at Carnegie Hall" CD. Entitled "Hang The Jury," it is a piece said to have been performed for his classical guitar juries (final exams) in college, just to find out if his music professors were really listening. Mike's latest is a convoluted version of "Dueling Banjo's". Mike performs both the guitar and banjo parts as if the banjo player is from the Middle East (Arabian Bluegrass?). As Mike says of these pieces, "Nothing like a joke no one can steal." 

Mike has recently been featured in USA Today, Newsweek, Billboard, Gig, American Entertainment, and Campus Activities Today magazines. He has performed at Carnegie Hall eight times and performed more than 4,000 shows worldwide. In the 90's and early 2000's Mike was voted "America's Campus Entertainer of the Year" three times in four years. 

Some of you may have seen Mike at a conference as a keynote artist. That is because in 2001 Mike successfully transitioned his career from the college entertainment scene to the corporate market, as well as select theater engagements. 

Mike does after-dinner and award-show entertainment as well as opening/closing keynotes, using his unique guitar skills and hilarious songs to illustrate three tools attendees can use to step beyond perceived limitations. It is a keynote presentation unlike any you've ever seen. Mike teaches the tools which as he says, "...took me from playing for seven people in a bar to Carnegie Hall." 

The big news is that Mike is putting the finishing touches on a much-requested live DVD entitled, "Classically Trained, Comically Derailed." It was filmed on November 30, 2006 at the Ford Theater in the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, TN and will be in stores nationwide on Comedy String/Sony Red later this year. 

In addition to the "Classically Trained, Comically Derailed" DVD, Mike has recorded five CDs. Having spent time in the 90's as a staff songwriter for Sony Music, the first three, Eleven, Better Days, and Unstoppable, feature Mike and his band playing Mike's acoustic rock/Americana songs. His most recent "Mike Rayburn at Carnegie Hall" live CD is Mike's full show of comedy and guitar. Soon to be released will be two solo instrumental guitar recordings.

Mike's presentations

Two Choices… 

Every Mike Rayburn presentation is based on clean, universally appealing comedy and masterful guitar. From there you have two choices: 

#1 "What If and Why Not?" (entertainment and message) 

We hear it all the time, "We need to think outside the box," right? So... how exactly does one do that? In his hilarious, musically amazing, motivational keynote, "What If... and Why Not?"

Mike Rayburn does what no other presenter can do. Not only is Mike a world-class guitarist and stand-up comedian, he is an authority on personal development and human potential. In this energetic presentation Mike uses his guitar and comedy to teach three simple, powerful tools attendees can use immediately and forever to access their unrealized potential, to look at old things in a new way, and to leap beyond their perceived limitations.

These are the tools which took Mike from playing for seven people in a bar in Virginia to standing ovations at Carnegie Hall. They work. For anyone And everyone. Always. 

It is one thing to say that something is true. It's completely another to actually prove it right there on stage. That is exactly what Mike Rayburn does. He can also tailor his presentation to address and include your theme. Your attendees will leave Mike's program energized and totally inspired to take on new challenges. Oh, and they'll laugh so hard it hurts! 

"What If and Why Not?" is perfect for opening and closing keynotes and anywhere you need a light but powerful message delivered with uproarious, musically amazing entertainment! 

#2 Classically Trained, Comically Derailed…

Mike can also focus his program completely on entertainment. "Classically Trained, Comically Derailed" is Mike Rayburn's critically acclaimed odyssey of masterful guitar; clever, universally appealing comedy; and musical combinations God never intended. 

"A comic genius... enough wit and talent to jumpstart a pacemaker!" raves the Aspen Daily News. 

When your attendees have had an intense day of break-out sessions and need to relax and unwind, or when they need an energy lift in the beginning or middle of the day, Mike Rayburn is the answer. 

"If Victor Borge played guitar (and drank too much coffee) he'd sound like Mike," says Carnegie Hall promoter, Mark Johnson. 

"Classically Trained, Comically Derailed" is perfect for after-dinner presentations, awards shows, and anywhere your event needs to be energized and totally entertained! 

Just a few of his corporate clients:

*indicates multiple performances 

Travels from: Las Vegas, Nevada

For more information or to book Mike Rayburn for your event, click here.