If you attended Barriere Secondary School in the mid 1990’s there is a good chance you might remember Mike Schell. He played trumpet in the high school band and remembers having a great music teacher there, Lyn Roste.
You might also remember his Mom and Dad, Jan and Tricia Schell. Jan was the superintendant at the Tolko Mill in Louis Creek; but his job went up in smoke due to the 2003 McLure Wildfire. Both parents now live in Kamloops.
Mike says that he took an interest in music at an early age. “I chose to be a musician because my Mom played trumpet in high school, and Dad played guitar and sang in bands in Northern B.C. from about age 18 to 25.”
Graduating from “good old Barriere Secondary in ‘94 or ‘95”, he then immediately left the community and joined the Military Reserves.
He says he also wanted to play hockey, but faced with a choice he “chose military and music”.
During his military stint Mike met his wife to be. They have been married for 15 years, have a 15-year-old son, Paton, and a 12-year-old daughter, Brooklyn. Both siblings have inherited the family’s enthusiasm for music, Paton plays the trumpet and Brooklyn is a singer.
Mike has been touring and performing for the past 10 years as founder of the Uptown Hornz, He has performed with many great musicians from James Burton (Elvis’s lead guitar player), to Geoff Watson of the James Brown horn section. A professional trumpet player, Mike is also versed in musical conducting which is one of his favorite past times.
Today, Mike Schell is based out of Kelowna, working with his brother Trey at Schell Shock Entertainment. Trey is the founder and president president/CEO of Schell Shock Entertainment; launching the company in December 2006 while producing and making beats for the rapper Game and other artists in the hip hop industry. Mike says he got involved with the company about three years ago, and adds that the company maintains exclusive rights including the trademark to “The Black WallStreet” brand apparel and gear.
Mike is the music director, clinician and adjudicator for the Uptown Hornz band, and notes they are currently in such demand with many different professional touring shows that while performing at all these venues he can thoroughly enjoy his passion for the music.
The Uptown Hornz are a touring horn section that has been together for 12 years, and Mike says they are the most in demand pick up horn section in Western Canada. They have toured with many great tribute shows and have opened up for Prism, and have played with the James Brown Horn section and Country legend Ronnie Mcdowell. They have also shared the stage with most of Elvis Presley’s original band.
Mike has been with the Penticton Elvis Festival for 11 years and is currently the chair. He is also the entertainment chair of the Westsyde Daze.
He notes that The Canadian Bluemoon Elvis Festival coming to Barriere July 17 – 19, will be the third year of his involvement with the festival where he officiates as MC and also as a musician with the Uptown Hornz.
“It’s a great non-profit festival, with an all-star weekend that sends the profits to the Wounded Warriors Weekend Foundation and the Canadian Hemophiliac Society, B.C. Chapter,” said Mike, “If you like the good old music it’s a weekend full of Elvis, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Frank Sinatra, Roy Orbison and more. A great weekend to pay tribute to the good old music of yesterday and it will be jam-packed with music acts from Western Canada and the USA.”
Asked what Mike sees in his musical future, he replied, “My main goal is full time concert promotion, bringing in the best tribute acts across North America. Tribute acts are huge right now. “
What has been a highlight so far in his career? “Performing in Las Vegas on the same stage that Elvis did 837 shows on,” answered Mike, “I love Elvis – I’m an Elvis junkie!”
For info on Mike Schell and the Uptown Hornz check out: www.Uptownhornz.com.
For information about SchellShock Entertainment go to: https://www.schellshockent.com
For more information on the Canadian Bluemoon Elvis Festival go to: www.thecdnbluemoon.ca