mike bortz


"Milwaukee Mike" Bortz is the new guy with UJB, having started late in 2010 after doing some pick-up drumming gigs with Rich Whitely.
Timing and opportunity converged when Mike got the call to play drums for a UJB gig on short notice.
The chemistry on stage that first night led to an invitation for him to join the band, which he gladly accepted!

Originally from Wisconsin, Mike started playing in club bands at 19, and eventually went heavily in the direction of progressive rock and relished in the intricacies of poly-rhythm and odd time signatures. In 1985, Mike joined the local reggae & calypso favorite, KOJO, and played with them for the next 10 years. The influence of the island groove added a new dimension to his style that remains to this day.

He moved to the Tampa Bay area with his family in 1999, and over time, has gotten to know and perform with many great local musicians:
Billy Norris Project, Middle Rhythm Session, Christie Lenee', Rich Whitely Band, Tribal Style to name just a few.

The move toward the stylings of UJB and The Dead was a logical one, as elements of both progressive and groove are inherent in the music.
Add to that the excitement of improvisation, "the two drummer thang", and the sheer pleasure of performing with an established group of tight musicians.
Mike’s “long, strange trip” with UJB is just beginning, and looks forward to this musical journey.