Michael has been the arranger/trumpeter for rock legends Steely Dan since 1996, including 2000's 4x Grammy winning Album of the Year "Two Against Nature" on which he was also a featured soloist, arranger and conductor. Nels Cline’s “Lovers” (arranged & conducted by Michael Leonhart) was released on the legendary Blue Note records in August 2016 to rave reviews. The album was premiered live at Newport Jazz 2016 with legendary festival creator George Wein sitting side stage. He also wrote arrangements for large brass/woodwind ensemble for David Byrne and St. Vincent’s “Love This Giant” tour.