Michelle began her guitar studies at the age of 7.
. Her Honours research paper, “Jazz Mind and Classical Hands- Roland Dyens and his style of arranging and performing” is on Wikipedia on Roland Dyens’ page and athttp://www.rolanddyens.com/. The connection made with Mr Dyens during the writing of the paper resulted in a warm mutual regard, and dinner together in Paris in the European winter of 2009.
Primarily Michelle sees musical performance as a way to connect with people, and her collaboration with other guitarists in duo reflects this. In addition to Michelle’s partnership with Jakub, she worked with the Wellington guitarist Julie Bevan for eight years, and the Auckland guitarist Paul McIvor aka “The Owl and the Pussycat” for two.
Michelle holds, in addition to a first class honours degree in performance earned under the tutelage of Gunter Herbig, merit Grade 8 certificates both in solo and duet performance; the duet certificate with Julie. She earned her Certificate in Executant Music in 1984 under the tutelage of Ron Burt.
Michelle is an Auckland-based guitarist and teacher.
Jakub has played the guitar since the age of 11. He studied in Wellington and achieved a Master of Music under the tutelage of Gunter Herbig. He currently teaches guitar in a number of schools around Auckland, and wants to buy a dog next year. He hates writing bios, and tries to keep them as short as possible!
Michelle and Jakub, aka “The Hard Case Guitar Duo”, have known one another since 2005, when Jakub had dreadlocks and Michelle didn’t. They were at the time both doing their Honours degrees in Performance, and were matched as a duo for some of their performance pieces. The duo was so successful that in 2006, despite living in different cities, they toured the North Island together. Their motivation as a duo is to avoid being serious unless absolutely necessary, and then only under extreme provocation!