I was fortunate, tonight, to be able to attend two different classes... Steel Pan and Latin Percussion.. as they ran back to back. Both classes were small in size, allowing for individual instruction, and participants were all of similar skill level to my own (novice or near novice.) I felt welcome and comfortable and am looking forward to next week! (NOT looking forward to recitals!)
Michelle is a singer/songwriter who blends jazz, folk, and rock in her music. Cruz's songs from her album, “The Recovery,” have received high praise from music critics, and the album received the “Album of the Year” award at the 2011 Motif Magazine Music Awards. Named “Best Jazz Female” at the 2011 New England Urban Music Awards, Cruz has appeared on NPR, FOX, and CBS. Michelle was asked to perform for her music hero, the late Jeff Buckley, at a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Fan Gathering and Tribute concert in Cleveland; she opened for Judy Collins; she paid tribute to the late folk legend Odetta; and she was invited to sing for the Grammy award-winning ensemble, Sweet Honey In The Rock. Michelle has made appearances at venues such as The Bitter End (NYC) and the Black Woman's Art Festival (Philadephia), and locally at the Sunset Music Festival in Newport.
The Michelle Cruz Quartet were the featured performers at “George Wein and Friends” in honor of the Newport Jazz Festival Founder, George Wein, for the past two summers. Michelle was asked to sing her Portuguese composition, “Deixa," for the President and First Lady of the Azores during their recent visit to the US, which was documented by international TV station RTP.
Michelle founded The Lost Chord—a program that provides music accessibility to all. On her first trip to Cabo Verde, Africa, Cruz developed “Sounds Across Waves,” a workshop allowing children from two nations to interact through music.