"I love my Reunion Blues Gig Bag. The leather is impeccable, and most of all I feel secure about the safety of my instrument. I have had several gig bags that have collapsed on me since my first reunion blues purchase I have never looked at other brands. I am confident that they will secure my guitar."
The depth and fluency of Michelle Marie's guitar playing seems to blur the line of instrument and person. It is as if the guitar is an extension of her personality. A vast array of intricate, inventive, melodic lines flows effortlessly. Michelle Marie's harmonic sense is highly developed with lots of open and sometimes dissonant bi-tonal progressions. Her overall sound is very evocative, otherworldly and challenging to the listener.
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.
Born and raised in New York City, her father is from Irish decent and her mother is from Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. She fell in love with music as a young girl. Her mother, Carmen Severino, is a major pop Latin recording and performance artist. Michelle traveled to many countries with her and developed a strong connection to music while watching her mother perform. Often Michelle would arrange pillows in her hotel room as a drum set to play along with the music that her mother would practice in the room. After several failed attempts at getting her parents to buy her a drum set, Michelle decided, "Ok, I love music...let me try the guitar," and it became an instant bond, and she taught herself to play.
Michelle did not take any formal music lessons, but would play by ear to rock-style guitarists, pop songs and Latin songs she would hear in the house. She says that she did not feel a connection to any of the music, and knew instinctively that this was not the end, that there had to be something else, some other style of music that would grab her attention. Michelle played the rock tunes, from Van Halen to Led Zeppelin, saying, "I never really got into it, but I knew nothing else."
On one crisp fall evening, while riding her bike, Michelle found what she was looking for. While surfing through radio stations on her Walkman, she stumbled upon an unbelievable piece of music that would change her life forever. It was the song "Are You Going with Me," performed by the Pat Metheny Group, and that began her studies in Jazz. It took her close to a month to find the album--the radio station had mentioned the group's name too fast--all she remembered was Pat "something" group. However, she persevered and, finally, a salesperson smiled at her and said, "Yes, I know the album." It was this album that gave Michelle direction. Through the Pat Metheny group, she later found other Jazz artists like George Benson, Wes Montgomery and Jim Hall, and then impressionistic composers Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel and Eric Satie, with whom she feels a strong connection.
Dreaming of a musical career, her musical abilities were limited when it came to writing down her ideas or simply understanding what she was composing. She felt that she needed to attain more knowledge than practice sessions afforded her, so she entered Queens College to meet and learn from the legendary Roland Hanna--"I will always be indebted." Without even really seeking a specific degree, Michelle Marie graduated with a B.A., double-major in Music and Media Communications, with minors in Journalism and French. She obtained her MFA in Jazz Performance, and often still remarks that she learns more from exceptional musicians. "Some elements of music just are taught in school, you learn with and through other remarkable musicians." Michael Mossman, Director of Jazz Studies at Queens College, was also a great mentor for her. "He knew my notation weakness, and since I was self-taught, he always served as a guiding light." Michelle Marie's main goal in life is "to express my music to you. I love when I am able to touch a person with a melody; it is so much more for your pleasure than my own. For me, as for all artists, life inspires us. Sound is music, the rain, the wind, even the thump, thump, thump of a basketball striking the pavement, and most of all a clear day with our big, beautiful blue-sky and big puffy white clouds . . . Music is an expression of life as we see it."