World Music Video Blogger, Artist, Musician, Producer – Michal Shapiro has been surrounded by art and music from her earliest years. Her mother was a painter and her father was an architect. “There was always music playing in the house, and always plenty of pencils, paper, crayons or paint to play with.”
Michal attended Queens College for her Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts, taking a leave of absence in her third year to sing with the 60s rock group “The Elephant’s Memory.” Returning to Queens College to complete the Master’s program she left half way through to pursue her musical interests again. “It’s been back and forth with music and art for most of my life – but I never stopped doing either one. For 3 years I made a living rendering textile facsimiles – a dead art, now that the computer has taken over. But I find that I apply the patience I learned in that job too all the work I do, and so that was a valuable lesson.” Michal has participated in group shows in Chelsea, NY and Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and a one woman show at the 55 Mercer Gallery. Her paintings have also been used in set designs, television pilots, commercials, the movie “Syriana” and the television series “Making It In America,” the Sam Mendes film “This Must Be The Place” and most conspicuously, in the award winning television series “Mad Men” where her painting adorned the wall of main character Don Draper’s office at Sterling-Cooper. She is also responsible for the design of CD and DVD packages for the Muse-Eek publishing company.
Michal has been a professional singer since the age of nine, and studied singing for seven years. “I love all kinds of music, from Worldbeat to R&B, but my voice is best suited to certain kinds of genres – Country, Bluegrass, Celtic and of course my own music.”
In 1995 Michal started working as a freelance music producer and journalist, writing articles for Global Rhythm Magazine, Rootsworld, and Tower Pulse. The article that she wrote for Rootsworld on the subject of gypsy music is still regarded as one of the best introductions to the genre. Currently she is a contributor to Songlines and FRoots, two British publications specializing in world music. Her work for the Ellipsis Arts label (1995-2000) led to these award-winning compilations: Planet Squeezebox: Accordion Music from Around the World; Klezmer Music: A Marriage of Heaven and Earth; Celtic Lullaby; Unblocked: Music of Eastern Europe; Latin Lullaby and Dancing with the Dead: The Music of Global Death Rites. Her own CD Mikhal: Full Flower was released in 2001.
It was during her 10 year tenure as Director of Music Programming at Link TV that she became fascinated with music video, and started her own vlog carried on the channel’s website. This was in turn picked up by the Huffington Post.
After covering the Dutch Jazz and World Meeting in Amsterdam, and witnessing the countless fusions of jazz with ethnic influences in New York City and all around the globe, Michal became a member of the Jazz Journalists Association.