Michele Simon has been involved with Balkan folk music for most of her life as a dancer, singer, drummer and teacher. She has performed with many groups over the years, including the Balkan bands Anoush, Helladelics, and Zabava! Izvorno, and is a founding member of Brass Menažeri Balkan Brass Band. She is currently singing once again with Kitka Women’s Vocal Ensemble, on and off over the last 30 years.
Over the years, Michele has studied with numerous native-born singers, including teacher training with her mentor, Bulgarian master singer Tatiana Sarbinksa. She has appeared on recordings and stages across America and in Bulgaria, as well as on Bulgarian National TV, and, with Kitka, on Serbian TV. Michele teaches private students and workshops throughout the West, including the popular Balkan Vocal Technique class at our Mendocino workshop. As a singing teacher, Michele’s specialty is integrating Balkan vocal styles with American voices, focusing on placement, ornaments, and pronunciation using innovative imagery and exercises.
Michele lives in Oakland, CA.