Soulo Mutes are designed and handcrafted by Mike & Elena Jarosz. Mike is a professional trumpet player, composer, arranger and music director, based in Philadelphia, PA. Mike's trumpet playing career started shortly after graduating from the University of The Arts, when he fulfilled a professional dream - to tour with Maynard Ferguson's Big Bop Nouveau Band.
BEFORE SOULO MUTE
In December of 2004, Mike worked as the horn section leader and trumpet player for the house band at "TSOP" in the Tropicana, Atlantic City, NJ. In 2006, Mike was hired to perform for rapper LL Cool J at the Essence Festival in Texas and an Oxygen Custom Concert in New York City. That same year he was hired as the lead trumpet player, horn arranger and string arranger for the Sony release of "Love Train: The Sound of Philadelphia Live In Concert", filmed at the Borgata Casino in Atlantic City, NJ. It was during this DVD video taping that Mike got the opportunity to share the stage with The O’Jays, Harold Melvin’s Blue Notes, The Delfonics, Jerry Butler, Three Degrees, The Soul Survivors and G.C. Cameron. Later that year Mike contracted a horn section and performed with Los Lonely Boys and Willie Nelson at the 2006 Farm Aid concert in Camden, NJ.
In 2007 Mike started working at the "Studio" in Philadelphia as a studio trumpet player, copyist and music arranger. Mike arranged horns and strings on four tracks of LL Cool J's album "Exit 13". He also performed trumpet on eight tracks for this album. In addition, Mike contracted musicians from his horn band to perform on this album. Mike orchestrated and arranged "My Man" for Jennifer Lopez to use as a backing track for Lopez to sing along to, as a surprise for Marc Anthony's 40th birthday party. His other credits at The Studio include playing trumpet on Celine Dion's "That's Just The Woman In Me" on the album "Taking Chances". Additional credits include playing trumpet on Beyonce's "A Woman Like Me" from the 2006 Pink Panther Soundtrack; R. Kelly's "Weatherman" and "If I" tracks from the album "Happy People"; Will Smith's "Here He Comes" from the album "Lost & Found"; Patti Labelle's "The Truth Will Set You Free" from the album "Back to Now"; Ricky Fante's "Shine" from the "Robots" movie soundtrack.
Mike co-arranged music for Justin Timberlake's "Dead & Gone" live performance at the 2009 Grammy Awards; John Legend's song "Wake Up" on the album "Evolver" and Kayne West's song "Flashing Lights" on the album "Graduation".
In 2009 Mike had the honor to perform at Aretha Franklin's 67th birthday party at Seldom Blues in Detroit. He was then hired by the music director for Franki Valli & The Four Seasons, where he continues to perform as a sideman at venues in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Connecticut. Mike's exposure to Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons led to Mike joining "The Midtown Men", the original cast of Jersey Boys, to tour the US and Canada.
SOULO MUTE WAS BORN
In the summer of 2009, after a vigorous practice for an important upcoming performance, Mike injured his neck. He was forced to put down the trumpet for a few months. Inspired by the Jerry Finch mute from the 70's, Mike developed what is now Soulo Bucket Mute for trumpet . He decided to share his new design with other trumpet players. The response was overwhelming and Mike asked his wife and business partner Elena to embark on a joint venture, combining Elena's business and marketing background with Mike's music expertise, eye for precision and innovation. Soon after, Soulo Mute was born. With supporters and endorsers like Wayne Bergeron, Roger Ingram and many other trumpet icons, the mute quickly became the "bucket mute of choice" for many trumpet players.
In 2012, after an overwhelming demand by trombone players, Soulo Mute added a bucket size for tenor and bass trombones. In May of 2014, after an entire winter of designing and testing different shapes and materials, Mike and Elena launched the Soulo Cup - an adjustable fiber cup mute with a traditional cup sound, that actually plays in tune. They launched the trumpet version at ITG and received a terrific response from professionals like Bria Skonberg, Wayne Bergeron, Roger Ingram and many others. In December of 2014, Soulo Adjustable Cup for tenor trombone was launched.
Next in 2016, just in time for ITG in Anaheim CA, they launched the new , aerodynamic Soulo Copper Bottom Straight, which was wawarded a patent by the USPTO and the EU Commission. Soon after the aerodynamic Trombone Aluminum Straight was created.
Mike and Elena are currently working on designing their next mute for trumpet and trombone, to complete the Soulo Mute line of professional mutes, while Mike is gigging with his band and freelancing in the East Coast region of the USA.