Michael Madden approaches Music like he approaches his next wave: creating opportunities out of challenges and enjoying the ride.
Michael is a singer song writer that started composing music at 14 years old. By the time he graduated high school he had already written over 50 compositions including the scores for several theatrical productions, a theme song for a television show, and his class song.
After graduating from a Mid Pacific Institute School of the Arts, Michael left his home town of Lanikai, Hawaii, moved to Los Angeles and began working in recording studios with the likes of Brian Adams, Sting, and The Lemon Heads. In 1995 Michael left the music business to begin his career in publishing. Michael launched Insight Editions, an art book publishing imprint with a strong music focus, and has now worked with Insight Editions for the past fifteen years. Michael has developed successful publishing campaigns for entertainment giants such as Sony Pictures, Fox, Lucas Films, Quincy Jones, Jerry Garcia, Bruce Springsteen and many more. Michaels musical influences included Sting, Billy Joel, and Elton John to name a few.
Michael lives in Yountville California where he was instrumental in getting The Napa Valley Performing Arts center at Lincoln Theater reopened and held the position of Executive Director there from 2011 through 2014.
Certified Master of the Obvious
With decades of experience in the food and wine business, Jeff Prather shares his wealth of knowledge through engaging, and often amusing, wine content for the website and wine shop. Having been an actor in his earlier years, Jeff is a natural as one of our entertaining tasting class instructors.
After opening the Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley in 1995 as the Restaurant Director and Cellar Master, Jeff served as Director of Wine Education at Shafer Vineyards, Flora Springs Winery, as well as the historic Beaulieu Vineyard. After serving as Senior Wine Merchant for the original Wine.com with Peter Granoff and Bo Thompson, Jeff was the managing Director of Azalea Springs Winery.
Jeff became known for his decade of work as Wine Director for Ray’s Boathouse in Seattle which merited him several awards, including four James Beard Award nominations, Restaurant Hospitality Magazine’s Best American Wine List, Wine Spectator’s Best of Award of Excellence, and Restaurant Wine Magazine’s Wine Marketer of the Year nominee.
Jeff judges at wine competitions and is a frequent speaker and guest sommelier at national wine events. As a writer, he has been published in several magazines, was a correspondent for the Microsoft Online Network (MSN), a contributor to Oz Clark’s Microsoft Wine Guide CD-ROM and is co-author of the book “Northwest Wines.”