A performer, educator, composer, and conductor, Michael Shirtz is known for his versatility with jazz, contemporary, and classical music audiences. As an entertainer his vocal style and arrangements feature Jazz, Blues, Funk, Rock, Gospel, and Singer/Songwriter styles into his performances. Credited as a “songsmith,” his shows highlight 20th Century American music and legendary artists through multimedia performances.
“Mike approaches the piano like a masterful storyteller. He is sensitive to what he is “saying.”
Whether simple, or profound he is adept at making musical statements that reach the hearts
of every listener.”
- Johnny Parker, music director & producer
His conducting credits include vocal coaching and directing educational, repertory theatre, masterwork, and pops music productions for choral, symphonic, and music festival organizations. His album Blue Skies is available online and his compositions include works for choirs, orchestras, jazz bands, and theater.
“Strong musicianship and spontaneous substantive
musical ideas flow effortlessly from Mike’s performances.”
- Pete Ford, jazz pianist
Holding degrees in jazz studies and conducting from Capital University Conservatory of Music and California State University, Los Angeles, Shirtz has served on the faculty for Capital University, American Music Academy, Terra State Community College, director in residence for Pellissippi State-Knoxville, and Tri-C Jazz Fest.
Currently, Shirtz and is active as a guest artist and leads the Michael Shirtz Quartet, teaches at Heidelberg University School of Music & Theatre, and conducts the Symphony Chorale with the Firelands Symphony Orchestra & School of Music. Shirtz is a member of ASCAP, African American Jazz Caucus, American Choral Directors Association, Jazz Education Network, and an advocate for mental health awareness.
Shirtz is a member for the following organizations: