Mike and Miriam Risko are the owners of the Mike Risko Music located in Ossining New York. In addition to being music teachers and business owners, the Riskos are well known locally for their musical entertainment. They have been playing music in the tri-state area since the early 90's. Mike has played guitar in bands like Mr. X, Toast, and Opium for the Masses while Miriam (formerly known as Miriam Baily before she and Mike got married in 2000) was the singer for bands like Said and Done, No Pressure and Yazmin. They have been playing together in their current band, The Mike Risko Band, for the past two decades and they have released a holiday CD called "I'll Be Home For Christmas".
Together in 1997 they formed the band Lucy's Frantic and performed all over including South Street Seaport for New Year's Eve 1997 and 1998 and Fourth of July for a Z-100 sponsored event in 1998.
They donate their time regularly to perform for different organizations. Rock2Rebuild-Musicians for Tsunami Relief and area education foundations like Briarcliff Manor, Croton on Hudson, Pocantico Hills and Ossining are some of the many groups they have worked with. In addition they have worked closely with the Briarcliff Manor Chamber of Commerce on their yearly Harvest Festival and First Thursday Monthly Events and the Ossining Chamber of Commerce on the Ossining Village Fair as well as the Ossining Pet Parade.
They also have provided music for the Croton Village Fair through Croton Recreation. They have performed at summer concert series in Ossining, Briarcliff Manor, Chappaqua, Cortlandt Manor, Peekskill and Croton. Since 2019 they have curated the Summer Concert Series in Ossining and in 2018 they pitched the Summer Concert Series in Briarcliff and worked on the committee to produce the first year. They have volunteered their music for many other local events in Ossining and surrounding areas including the Star Spangled Banner for Opening Day for Ossining Baseball and the Ossining and Cortlandt Manor Inaugural Ceremonies as well as the Briarcliff Manor Memorial Day Festivities for the inaugural celebration of the Briarcliff Manor Pavilion. They have performed for the Ossining PTA sponsored Magic Masters Basketball game and Color Run and the Briarcliff Manor Color Run. They have performed at the Atria in Briarcliff Manor, The Westchester Mall, Ossining Earth Day, The Briarcliff Manor Rotary Club, and the Christmas Tree Lightings for Ossining, Chappaqua, Briarcliff and Cortlandt Manor. They have partnered with Ossining Little League Football to provide students to sing the National Anthem at the fall football games. Some of their other performance venues including local clubs have been Trump Golf Course, Sleepy Hollow Country Club, Captain Lawrence Brewing Company, Maya Riviera, 105-10 The Hudson Room and many more. Additionally, they have performed for Temple Israel Northern Westchester Fundraisers and St Augustines School Fundraiser (upcoming, May 2020).
The Riskos have provided music programs in the Ossining and Chappaqua Schools in addition to CSI Nursery School and Garden House Nursery School located in Briarcliff Manor. They also do a free "Meet the Strings" Program during which they introduce nursery school aged kids to all kinds of instruments with strings. They also ran the Pre-K Piano Program at the Ossining Children’s Center through a grant and they have provided the music program to the Pleasantville Cottage School and Edenwald School. In 2019 they did a day of service providing a music program to the Yonkers School District and they will be returning in 2020.
Collectively they have performed at thousands of shows. In addition Mike has done various recordings and released a CD in 1997 with the band Opium for the Masses while Miriam has performed in many musicals like Godspell, The Pajama Game, They're Playing Our Song & she directed A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum with the Saw Mill Summer Theatre in Chappaqua. She also sang on the soundtrack to the movie Contact Blow.
They founded their music school in 1995 and in 2009 bought a building and moved the music school down the street to their new location where they also opened a full-line music store carrying musical equipment like Godin, D'Angelico, PRS, Ibanez, Tama, Alvarez and more. They have a band instrument rental program and rent instruments to all the local school districts, repair musical instruments and carry sheet music. They have over 600 students going through their music school each week and they offer lessons on all instrument and voice in a wide range of styles. They have over 30 teachers on staff teaching their curriculum and they offer monthly recitals, open mic nights and adult rock band classes. They have been offering Mike Risko Rock Band Camp each summer since 2000. They also curate many local live music events including Open Mics and an acoustic music series at Mike Risko Music. They started a musical theater company in 2015 and have produced and directed 16 musical theater productions to date.
Mike has been endorsed by Brian Moore Guitars and Godin Guitars. He has written three books, The Mike Risko Guitar Method Book 1, 2, and 3. Miriam is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, is a licensed Kindermusik Instructor and is listed on the website rockinmoms.com. She also has been featured in Audix Mic advertisement and an article in WIMN. The Riskos have been featured in Consumer Reports Magazine for their business skills and were also featured in a news clip which was broadcast on 80 ABC stations across the United States in which they were interviewed and played a song. They have been featured in the Make Music Day Promo Video and Westchester Magazine Best of Westchester Video. Mike and Miriam are regular speakers at the National Assoiciation of Music Merchants trade shows in both Anaheim California and Nashville where they speak to peers who own music schools and stores all over the world about creative ways to improve their business. The Riskos write regulary for NAMM U on line which is the Trade Association website for their industry. Their articles have also been featured in Westchester Family Magazine. They also write a column on grassroots marketing in the industry magazine Sound and Retailer.
Mike and Miriam Risko are community oriented people with two children and believe in being a part of the community that has supported their business and musical ventures. Miriam has been serving on the Executive Board of the Ossining PTA since 2010 and currently is the President of Ossining PTA Council. She was also on the board of the Ossining Downtown Entertainment Committee in 2013 and 2014. Mike is on the executive board of the Greater Ossining Chamber of Commerce and the board of the Ossining Arts Project.
Their business won the Best of Westchester award in 2010, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2019 (Best Music Store, Best Music School, Best Unique Birthday Parties, Best After School Program). In 2020 they won Best of Westchester for Best Music Store, Best Music School and Best After School Program. They were also named a top 100 Musical Instrument retailer in the world by the National Assoiciation of Music Merchants in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 and were recognized as a top three in the Music Makes A Difference Category for their work with various non-profits in 2015 and Customer Service in 2016. In 2019 they were a top 3 finalist for the Dealer of the Year Award and a finalist in the Innovation Category for their online lessons and Musical Theater Program.
They have received recogntion from Westchester Family Magazine as a top place for music lessons for many years and Best Rock Music Program in Westchester and they were named by News 12 Westchester as a "Gem of the Hudson Valley" in the Where are We on Wednesday Series in August of 2015. They were thrilled to be recognized by 914 Inc Magazine for general business excellence in the 2015 Third Quarter Issue and recognized at an awards ceremony in September of 2015. In 2017 they received the Westchester Business Journal Award for Family Owned Business, Macaroni Kids Gold Daisy Award for Best Music Lessons in the Rivertowns and Best Clinics in the country from Sound and Retailer Magazine. In 2018 and 2019 they were recipients of Hula Frogs Most Loved Award in the category of music lessons.
In 2021 Mike Risko Music received the Global Best Community Music Retail Store award from the National Association of Music Merchants in addition to being named a Top 100 Music Store in the world for the 8th year. They also received the highly prestigious--award from NYS from Senator Elijah_Reichlin Melnick for---and Miriam Risko received the Women in Business Award from 914 Inc Magazine. In 2022 they were again named a Top 100 Music Store in the World for the 9th year, Hulafrog Most Loved Music lessons and three Best of Westchester Awards in the categories of Best Music School, Best Music Store and Best Adult Classes bringing their total number of Best of Westchester Awards to 16.
Mike, Miriam and Larry perform for Toni Senecal on her Fox 5 show "Toni On the Holidays" in November 2007
Open Mic Night March 2005.
At the Rockin Horse Steakhouse.
Mike and Miriam with the band Lucy's Frantic in 1997 at South Street Seaport in NYC.