Guitar, Classical Guitar, Mandolin, Music Recording, Music Theory, Songwriting, Banjo
"Ever since I could remember, I have always been in love with the guitar. I just always felt like it was an extension of who I am!" recalls Washington DC guitar and multi-string instrumentalist, Michelle. Michelle is a restless collaborator who is engaged in exploring and extending the boundaries of her instruments. Michelle's guitar playing is often described as incredibly creative and innovative. A FORCE OF NATURE. Her playing is visceral, with a expressionistic approach to creating timbre and velocities. Constantly discovering new sonorities on her guitar, she has created a uniquely personal language which speaks to audiences. "Michelle is the most engaging improvisor I have ever seen. No one is breaking boundaries and taking command of the guitaristic language like Michelle is, NOBODY. She is a percussionist on guitar, indeed she is the GUITAR'S RENAISSANCE" to quote Lydia Cummings Smith (independent improvised music critic) in 2002. Influenced at first by guitarist like Allan Holdsworth, Don Mock & B.B. King, Michelle found great inspiration in the highly charged expression of their music but has created a style all her own, an extended language. Michelle was born in Jersey City, New Jersey. Here she spent the early years of her life immersed in a community of musicians, break dancers, artists and poets. She started playing the guitar at the age of 5. It was rock music that got Michelle hooked on guitar "Rock & Pop guitarist were the biggest examples of guitar playing in my life at the time, they were the most visible and so I guess I just gravitated towards that. It wasn't until later that I started to wake up to all the other great guitar players out there playing other music that I actually liked more, like jazz and reggae. When I realized, really realized these players and their music it was like the whole world opened up for me. " In 1988 Michelle attended the Duke Ellington School for the Arts in Washington DC and studied jazz with DC guitar legend Tom Newman and Saxophone great Davey Yarbrough and in 1992 Michelle received what was at the time the second largest scholarship given to a conservatory student to attend Oberlin Conservatory in Oberlin OH. Here she studied with guitarist Bob Ferreza and jazz educators Jimmy Owens and the late Wendell Logan. Michelle moved to Brooklyn New York in 1995 where she expanded her musical career to include becoming a professional composer & sound designer as well as a DJ. After many concerts over the years, Michelle decided to assemble various groups of her own. These groups were instrumental in making Michelle more well-known. Her vast, poliedric repertoire is particularly oriented towards Global Bass.
Bass Guitar, Guitar, Algebra, Classical Guitar, Geometry, Mandolin, Music Theory, Physics, Songwriting, Trigonometry, Ukulele
I played on a toy piano when I was very young, learning a bit of sight reading from my Mother, while listening to classical, jazz, and rock music. When I was 12, I learned guitar and later took private piano lessons from a prominent Philadelphia instructor. After playing in a rock band in high school, I went to college and received my degree in Physics. During this time, I joined a choir, and sang and played guitar in a contemporary vocal group where I became the lead guitarist and vocal arranger, and later became the director. I also played guitar in my church, as well as in a small folk group, performing music of the Beatles, Bacharach, Crosby, Stills, and Nash, and many others. I also played or sung in a number of weddings during my college days.
Upon graduation, I moved to the DC area to work in the engineering field, while simultaneously pursuing my music ambition. I studied classical guitar at American University with a student of the great Andres Segovia, and also studied jazz guitar with a former student of a prominent jazz guitarist, Pat Martino. Additionally, I sang in choirs and studied composition privately with a prominent Washington area composer and performer from Catholic University, I also began to teach at an area performing arts academy.
My most long-term experiences in music have been serving in my local church for over 30 years, either playing guitar (acoustic, electric, bass), piano, or arranging vocals in a contemporary worship band. I also started the church’s first choir, and led both choir and small orchestra in a number of special performances. Additionally, I led congregational worship in different scenarios. During this time I also taught students of all ages guitar, piano, and music theory, and have continued to today in helping students to find their musical potential and pursue their musical ambitions.
I have recently retired from my engineering career so I can use my musical gifts in my local church and teach music as a second career. I am continuing studies in music at George Mason University, where I have made the Dean’s list. More importantly, I continue to learn how to better teach others of all ages how to grow in all aspects of music-making.
Bass Guitar, Guitar, Classical Guitar, Flamenco Guitar, Mandolin, Music Theory, Songwriting, Ukulele, Banjo
I have been playing for about 35 years and teaching music and guitar for 25 years. I have a Bachelor of Music in Jazz and Classical guitar. I've taught at the University level and currently maintain a professional studio in Arlington, Virginia. I am very well versed in many different styles of music including, Rock, Blues, Jazz, Classical and Suzuki guitar. Students who decide to sign up with me, will have a lesson plan, a strategy for meeting their musical goals and will enjoy themselves in the process.
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