Nando Michelin

Associate Professor
Affiliated Departments
Faculty Bio E-Mail

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Career Highlights
  • Leader of the Nando Michelin Group
  • Member of the Felipe Salles Group, Teresa Ines, Katie Viqueira, Tribute to Chile, and Ragazzi-Michelin Duo
  • Performances with Jerry Bergonzi, Bob Moses, Jeff Ballard, Antonio Sanchez, Esperanza Spalding, Jair Rodrigues, and Jamelão
  • Recordings include Facing South, Common Grounds, Art, Chants, Live at AJC, When Einstein Dreams, Duende, and Reencontro
  • B.M., Berklee College of Music
In Their Own Words

"I started playing piano as a kid, but stopped when I was 12—I wanted to be a soccer player. About a year or so before going to college to study chemistry I started learning classical guitar, but I was more into pop music and rock, so it didn't click. Then one day my guitar teacher told me that this guy Egberto Gismonti was in town, so I went to hear him. From the moment he hit the first note—it was just a single note on the piano—it was like I was floating for the whole concert; it was an incredible sensation. I said to the person I was with, 'This is what I have to do. Even if I'm not good at it, I don't care; I need to be this way.'"

"When I went to Berklee in Argentina for one week in the summer in '87, I saw that there was a method that, if you practiced and studied it, you could understand how get better, just as in chemistry there was a method to study how the atoms interacted and understand the compounds you made. I wanted that method, but my goal was to get to that emotional point that I felt when listening to Gismonti. So I always keep that in mind; that's my objective, even when I teach. There's basic knowledge that you have to have, but never sacrificing the goal of music, which is conveying emotions."

"I take an individual approach to each student. And if I ask my students to use a certain sound to write a song, I tell them, 'Wherever the song takes you, go with it. I'd rather you tell me you wrote a song that has nothing to do with what I gave you, and it sounds great, than tell me you threw away ten songs because you wanted to do one like I asked you to do.' If my students understand that the music comes first all the time, then they get to that point at which they always are trying to break down barriers and let the music take over.'"

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