Julie Michels was born in New Jersey and raised throughout Europe and the USA, before settling in Toronto, Canada. Her travels instilled a wanderlust not only for different countries, but for diversified cultures and distinct musical genres, all of which helped mold her career in music.
Her next CD is set to be recorded in New York. A re-interpretation of the songs of Lyle Lovett, it will be produced by Grammy Award nominated Mark Ruffin.
While attending the University of Wisconsin in Madison, ultimately receiving a Bachelor of Political Science degree with a minor in Macro Economics, Julie studied jazz with the bassist, Richard Davis.
After graduation, Julie traveled to Scotland where she worked as a singer for six months. The following year, she performed at jazz clubs throughout Europe including the Jazz Vortex in London, the Cafe Gorilla in Paris and the Jazz Cafe in Brussels. She performed in Germany, Italy and Holland as well as appearing at the Glasgow Music Festival, the Bridgeport Music Festival, the Aaran Musical Festival on the Isle of Aaran, the North Sea Jazz Festival and Utrecht Festival in Holland
Recently, Julie has focused on North American venues including the Toronto Jazz Festival, Ottawa Jazz Festival, Merrickville Jazz Festival, Haitian International Jazz Festival, as well as stages throughout Canada and the United States. In 2017, she performed in Egypt at the Jazz Tales Festival in Cairo and in 2018 Julie performed in Alexandria with the Cairo Symphony Orchestra.
Julie has performed, toured and recorded with Kevin Barrett, George Koller, Ottawa’s Chelsea Bridge, the MCCT Choir (Diane Leah, Musical Director) and her own bands, Sutra and Parla. As well as the Chicago Free Jazz Movement Kahil El’Zabar, Ernest Dawkins, the legendary BeBop Musician Dougie Richardson, composer and pianist Nancy Walker, pianist and composer Adrean Farrugia, Grammy Award winner Joe Sealy, pianist and composer Robie Botos, drummer Larnell Lewis, pianist and composer the late Archie Alleyne, Indian tablah player Ratech Das, Columbian percussionist Chendy Leon, guitarist Kevin Barrett, pianist and composer Gordon Webster, and the legendary Bob Fenton Davide.
Julie’s latest projects include the Braden/Michels Jazz Project with saxophonist Don Braden and pianist and arranger, David Restivo. Julie is a member of Broadsway with fellow vocalists, Heather Bambrick and Diane Leah. She has also worked with Decidedly Jazz Danceworks, the Toronto Tabla Ensemble, the Ancient Voices Project, the Madison Celtic Renaissance Consort and the Blackhawk Stringband and JazzWorks Jazz Camp. In 2012, Julie played a major role in “Amazing Voice”, Japan’s national television documentary about the diverse face of Canadian music.
‘It’s a real pleasure to share the stage with Julie Michels…one of the Jazz Masters!’
Sherif Elian, Principal Bass, Cairo Symphony Orchestra
‘Julie Michels possesses a huge voice with amazing control, both in range of volume, expression and wonderful tonal effects which she uses like an instrument.’
Bob Scott, The Examiner
‘Michels is a powerful, gritty, all-in singer, with the power and confidence needed to belt the music out.’
Peter Hum, The Ottawa Citizen
‘Risky, imaginative, fresh, and fun loving.’
Roger Levesque, The Edmonton Journal.
RecordingsOld Friends with Diane Leah and Heather Bambrick (2013)
Come Together with saxophonist/flutist, Don Braden (2012)
Bass and Voice with bassist, George Koller (2010)
She Sings, He Plays with guitarist Kevin Barrett (2010)
Live at Statlers (2003)
Singing Naked (1995)