michael “gooch” gurciullo has been associated with big bands ever since he was a kid in omaha, ne. all through jr. high and high school he played in the usual school programs, but also worked outside of those settings in professional big bands in the local area. upon completion of high school, gooch chose north texas state university for his continuing education. there he got to work with great jazz educators rich matteson, dan haerle, and jack peterson. outside of the university, gooch studied privately with world famous trumpet virtuoso, don “jake” jacoby. while attending n.t.s.u., gooch formed his own big band called, “the arctic muther’s.” it was comprised of some of the best young talents in the music program at the time. gooch also co-led a big band with don jacoby called, “the swing of things.” while still in college, gooch did some touring with guy lombardo and his royal canadians under the direction of art mooney.
upon completion of n.t.s.u., gooch gigged for a year as the featured soloist with the world-famous glenn miller orchestra. after that, gooch moved west to monterey, california. while there, he founded the monterey jazz orchestra, and played monday nights at clint eastwood’s mission ranch. after several years, gooch set forth for the entertainment capital of the world: las vegas.
during his fifteen years spent in vegas, gooch worked most of the major showrooms with the headliners. he also carried the lead/jazz trumpet spot in the wayne newton orchestra for 4 years. he traveled exclusively with mr. newton all over the us, canada, and the 2006 australian tour. gooch also founded the las vegas big band. he had the top-call players meet with him on monday nights to bring some of the hottest big band jazz to the people of las vegas.
In 2008, Mike returned to his hometown of, Omaha, NE., where he married the “hometown sweetheart.” They live happily together with their two children, and of course the Golden Diva, Sophie, in West Omaha. Once again, he assembled, Gooch & His Las Vegas Big Band, (the Midwest version). Gooch and his band found a home to play on Monday nights at The Ozone. They have been performing there for over four years. They also just recently released their first CD entitled, “The Other Half Of Me.” Mike still works with many of the cats from Vegas in two shows called, “Drinkin, Singin, Swingin” and “Sinatra Forever.” In addition to Laughlin and Vegas, the shows tour throughout the U.S. In 2010, they capped a successful tour of Chile, South America, returning just days before the big earthquake struck.