Michael "Spike" Wilner, was born in the city of Manhattan, New York. Spike was inspired to play ragtime piano at a young age. Spike entered into the first class of the, now legendary, New School For Social Research's Jazz and Contemporary Music Program, then led by the late Arnie Lawrence. Spike performed with and has led many bands in New York City at many famous, now closed, jazz clubs including The Village Gate, The Angry Squire, Visiones, Augies, The West End Gate and The Village Corner. Spike also toured with The Artie Shaw Big Band, The Glen Miller Orchestra, Maynard Furgeson & Lennie Cuje.
In 1994, Spike began to work a regular gig at Smalls Jazz Club. This became his permanent musical home and led to his current position as partner and manager of the club. Spike now spends most of his time at Smalls making sure that it keeps on running. Each Tuesday he performs with his group.
Spike's company SmallsLIVE LLC is a digital media company with the purpose of distributing live recorded music from Smalls Jazz Club. SmallsLIVE currently has a catalog of 40 HD titles, broadcasts live shows every night on the internet via www.smallslive.com. SmallsLIVE has also documented every show at Smalls Jazz Club since September of 2007. The audio/video archive now has more than 7000 recordings and represents from than 550 prominent jazz artists.