Michelle Qureshi is an accomplished composer, multi-instrumentalist, and classically trained guitarist who writes and performs in various styles that combine her instrumental artistry with her passion for creating music. Her work is drawn from delicate, soulful sounds, the product of a curious and creative, spiritually centered mind.
Michelle came to music first as a self-taught guitarist in her teens, performing and teaching locally, but with aspirations toward a more expansive understanding of music. Initially starting her undergraduate work in Psychology, she recognized her need for creative expression, so she changed her course of study and started out, at twenty, as a beginning classical guitar student in pursuit of the discipline and ultimate creativity that a formal music education promised. She graduated, with honors, with Bachelor and Master of Music degrees.
Born the middle child of five in Northwest Indiana, she grew up in a home surrounded by popular music of the time, within a household of various musical tastes. Her brother and sisters influenced her exposure to music, as well as her mother, who loved the music of Ray Charles and Sergio Mendes, and her father, who had a Hammond B-3 organ, which he played by ear. Among early memories of knowing that music would be a special thing in her life was the first time she strummed the strings of an idle guitar propped against a bookcase in the living room of a friend's house. Hearing The Beatles, and other bands and solo artists, like Joni Mitchell, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan, Mike Oldfield, Led Zeppelin, Eric Clapton, Pat Metheny and Leo Kottke, she began a life long connection to music. Later exposure to classical music and jazz at college, as well as discovering a love of music from many different parts of the world, brought a new level of influence. Several contemporary composers whose music is often heard as film scores, such as Ennio Morricone, Michael Nyman, Philip Glass, Rachel Portman, and A.R. Rahman, also inspire Michelle’s music. By studying the music of Bach, Mozart, Brahms and the great tradition of Western Classical music, together with indigenous music traditions from across the globe, Michelle greatly enhanced her musical worldview. Believing in the power of music and its great potential to unite, connect, and touch us all, Michelle feels inspired to share her music as both a composer and performer.
Acquiring instruments from her travels, her home studio consists of acoustic, electric, classical, and 12-string guitars, as well as tablas, a cello, an 'oud, a sitar, a mandolin, a banjo, a dulcimer, a ukulele, a dobro, a harmonium, synthesizers, flutes, didgeridoos, singing bowls, harmonicas, and percussion instruments. From these instruments she has creates music that ranges from simple, subtle melodies, to remarkably complex, orchestral like works, fusing genres and sonorities into music that is emotional, inspiring, and expertly crafted.