JOEL MICHAEL-SCHWARTZ is an electrifying young mandolinist/composer and a rare breed of artist. Comfortable playing Bach, bebop, funk, traditional celtic, and much more, he brings passion, command, and a quirky sense of fun to all his artistic endeavors.
He hails from Evanston, Illinois, where he studied with Don Steirnberg and Rick Veras. He studied music at Goucher College in Baltimore, learning jazz and classical mandolin with professors Jeffrey Chappell, Steve Yankee, and David Evans, and studies composition under Kendall Kennison. He graduated cum laude with honors in music in 2015.
Dedicated to his instrument and to the art of solo and small group performance, Joel is constantly trying to push his boundaries and that of his instrument, be it through composition, improvised concerts, solo performances, or whatever else comes his way. This leads him from serious “high art” to groove-based to profoundly goofy music.
When not trying to draw music from his silly little instrument or wandering in search of adventure, Joel can be found reading philosophy, fantasy, and pie recipes.
Joel is the founder, director, and mandolinist for The New Mandolin Project, a project dedicated to expanding the world and music of the mandolin, creating new works, and putting the mandolin in new, exciting contexts.
Contact Joel for the following:
Private or group instruction (mandolin, guitar, music theory, jazz theory)
Group or solo performance (available for public and private events)
Collaboration as a performer or composer