Julie Michels began her life humming in tune with the radio … and she hasn’t stopped since. Her “glorious holler” (Mark Miller, Globe and Mail) has been a unique and important feature on the Toronto Jazz scene for more than two decades, settling there after studying with legendary bassist, Richard Davis at the University of Wisconsin, and spending time performing across Europe and North America.
As a recording artist, Julie has worked with bassist George Koller (Singing Naked, 1995, and Bass and Voice, 2011), guitarist Kevin Barrett (Live at Statlers, 2003, and She Sings, He Plays, 2010), Saxophonist / Flutist Don Braden (Come Together, 2012), as well as with the Choir of MCCToronto, under the direction of Diane Leah.
Beyond recording, she has shared the stage with some of North America’s finest musicians, including Joe Sealy, Robbie Botos, Don Braden, Rob Piltch, Larnell Lewis, and Archie Alleyne – just to name a few. Her performances have seen her delight international audiences, from music festivals like the Glasgow Music Festival, the North Sea Jazz Festival, and the Bridgeport Music Festival, to renown Jazz clubs like the Jazz Vortex (London), Café Gorilla (Paris), and the Jazz Café (Belgium).
Never one to stay in one musical place, Julie spreads her stylistic wings to embrace many genres. She has worked with the Toronto Tabla Ensemble, the Ancient Voices Project, the Madison Celtic Renaissance Consort, and the Blackhawk Stringband. She also leads her own world music ensembles “Sultra” and “Parlay”.
Julie’s musical and artistic background is varied, and her experiences vast. She was a trained dancer and is well versed in the world of classic and contemporary musical theatre. One of her greatest honours was being asked to sing at the State Funeral for the late Jack Layton, leader of the NDP of Canada.
Julie continues to work actively in the worlds of Jazz, Musical Theatre, Gospel, R&B, Celtic, and Latin.