¨What’s Michelle Marie up to?¨ Her Dominican fans are asking!!!

Keeping up with the Jazz Guitarist, Singer and Composer Michelle Marie

¨What’s Michelle Marie up to?¨ Her Dominican fans are asking!!!

In November of 2007 Michelle Marie played at the DR Jazz Festival in Cabarete on the north coast of the Dominican Republic and impressed all with her music, both her playing as well as her compositions. Her personality extends into her music, graceful and seemingly effortless playing of the guitar full of inventive melodic lines, that at the same time are intricate and challenging. Her compositions, full of melodic and harmonic gestures; from a vast palette of influences ranging from Rock to Brazilian to Classical; flow into her playing and captivates her audiences with caressing whispers.

Her fans have been asking ¨What is Michelle Marie up to these days?. We contacted and spoke to her (this always a pleasure), and here´s the latest for all of you...

She’s always busy with her jazz project and is currently working on her second CD as well as producing the 2nd Annual Michelle Marie Jazz Festival in New York City. After recording and issuing her first recording last year – Michelle Marie (MM Records Group) in which the music of the self-titled debut CD offers a very tasty collection of tightly arranged songs, an eclectic blend of sounds that combine elements of jazz and Brazilian music through her composing, playing and singing. And producing a small jazz festival in Manhattan’s Upper West Side, which presented an evening of music featuring Michelle’s trio, percussion virtuoso Felle Vega, and jazz star Antonio Sanchez’ trio.

The news on the 2nd Annual MM Jazz Festival is that artist Cuong Vu has already confirmed, and of course the Michelle Marie Trio will be playing. The Festival will be video taped on HD and will immediately be posted on her video site so that all that cannot be present be able to enjoy it. The plans are for this festival to expand itself in the coming years while maintaining focus on local acts, especially those that showcase the diverse musical backgrounds and traditions in New York.

The newest project that Michelle has gotten involved, and with which she is extremely excited about, is her video site, which is now acting as a TV station to promote the arts in general, jazz specific, in NYC. She is currently setting up the Michelle Marie production team that will be based in New York City with other team members being networks in Washington DC, Seattle, Boston and New York.

She also continues to play with her trio at different venues, amongst these 55 Bar, DC Blues Alley, The Poppenhausen Institute, Bar 66 and other NYC Jazz venues.

A little about Michelle Marie
Born and raised in New York City, her father is from Irish decent and her mother is from Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. Michelle grew passionate about music as a child while traveling on musical tours with her mother, the Dominican performer and recording artist Carmen Severino. After failed attempts at convincing her parents to buy her a drum set, she chose to focus on the guitar. She immediately felt connected to the instrument, and taught herself to play. Her pursuit started by studying privately with legendary pianist Roland Hanna, who held a teaching position at Queens College in Flushing, New York. Spurred by Hanna’s assertive yet sage teaching style, Michelle excelled at her studies. Despite not having set out to earn a degree, she earned a B.A. with majors in both music and media communications, and a minor in journalism. She went on to earn her M.F.A. in jazz performance.

Self-taught and one of the few female Jazz guitar players on the scene today, Michelle Marie’s original compositions and arrangements create an incredible, impressionistic atmosphere. Soft-spoken, Michelle transcends her voice into beautiful vocals that add to the ambiance. Combined with her presence and artistic desire, Michelle Marie will definitely attract your attention.

Beyond her success as a performer, she created Michelle Marie Productions in 2000. The company is dedicated to the promotion and support of live jazz and world music, recently founded a small jazz festival in Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Also in 2008, Michelle founded MM Records, producing her own albums, as well as those by other artists.

Michelle Marie leaves us with the following: … “You know… life, in all of its aspects, inspires me. Sound is music - rain, wind, even the thump, thump, thump of a basketball striking the pavement, - music is an expression of life…it inspires me to compose for the pleasure of others, rather than my own…I just love it when I can touch someone with music!!!"

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Fernando Rodriguez