Michelle began writing songs at age 11. She took formal piano lessons sporadically but preferred playing by ear, also picking up bass and guitar in her teens. Michelle has embraced many musical styles over her career; her performance and recording credits include orchestra member in Lou Harrison’s internationally renowned Gamelan Si Betty (Indonesian orchestra), keyboardist for Chepito Areas (Santana’s original percussionist/arranger), co-leader of blues-rock band featuring Robbie Hoddinott (Kingfish, Bob Weir), chorus member in a Gilbert & Sullivan theater company, bassist for a grunge band, and more. Besides studying classical and jazz piano, she has studied Latin piano/arranging and Latin percussion.
Michelle has been a longtime exponent of the Latin jazz genre and writes material reflecting her knowledge of Afro-Cuban and Brazilian music styles. Her commerical releases have earned favorable press (including mention on a couple “best of” lists) as well as airplay on around 200 satellite, public, and college radio stations, plus made the “most added releases” list in JazzWeek. While Michelle is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist, she also draws on the talents of A-list players to bring her musical creations to life.