As Public Radio International’s “Echoes” host John Diliberto put it in a recent interview:
“Michael Mandrell is the acoustic guitar player infusing his original melodies with Indian scales and a Celtic lilt……..”
Michael honed his open-tuning guitar chops in the early 80’s on the Texas folk circuit, performing with Celtic string bands and many great acoustic artists. From these humble folk music origins his style has emerged as an eclectic fusion of world music, the guitar becoming a small orchestra in his hands. Featured often on “Echoes” (www.echoes.org) and many other radio shows as well, Michael’s music has found an audience with an ear for the creative side of the new world fusion genre.
Moving to Taos, NM. in 1991, Michael performed with the world fusion group “Taos” co-producing their CD, “The Deepening Edge”, released nationally on Blix Street Records. Tunes from this CD have been recently re-released on Blix Street Records beautiful new compilation, “Fiddlers Green” (www.blixstreet.com/)
His self produced CD, "The Great Spiral Dance" continues in the world fusion tradition with all original guitar compositions, adding flutes, East Indian percussion, Uillean pipes and other ethnic instruments. Lyrical, haunting, melodic, Michael Mandrell's "The Great Spiral Dance" contains music from the film Stone Reader by Mark Moskowitz (www.stonereader.net). Tracks from this self-produced album weave in and out of Moskowitz's film, helping to create the movie's unique, narrative feel. The film features the tracks "Ancient Art of Soul Travel" and "Ambrosius".
"This is definitely the kind of atmospheric guitar music that Echoes host John Diliberto continually loves and discovers... and so do we! Mandrell plays in many styles, all quite adept, with help on flutes, pipes, harp, tablas & percussion, and a couple of well-placed vocals (one by Jenny Bird). "The Great Spiral Dance" has captured the "debut of the year" award in the instrumental dept. for 2001. Thoroughly pleasurable and evocative."
Backroads Music, home of the Heartbeats Catalog
More recently Mandrell colaborated with Benjy Wertheimer to produce "Anjali" a mystical yoga/meditation CD. "Anjali" features an improvisational mix of Michael's guitar work with the Benjy's stellar Tabla and Esraj playing.
Michael tours regionally and nationally, playing solo as well as with many of the acoustic warrior road tribe, including Jenny Bird (www.jennybird.com), Lynn Wedekind (www.lynnwedekind.com), Benjy Wertheimer (www.benjymusic.com) and Anton Mizerak (www.shastasong.com) As "Echoes" executive producer Kimberly Hass observes, "Michael's hybrid guitar style reveals a guitarist of eclectic sensibilities and delicate technique. His music circles the globe in imagistic compositions."
He currently makes his home in Portland, Oregon.
7410 SW Oleson Rd. PMB #311
Portland, OR. 97223
A few quotes from fans.....
Michael's guitar playing is extraordinary. His tunes are lyrical-the stuff fairy tales are made of. They are slightly jazzy, seductively smooth and consistently beautiful. Deborah Ensor, The Taos News
The first time I saw Michael Mandrell playing live, I thought, "How does he do that?" It sounded for all the world as if there were two or three instruments besides his guitar, but it was just Michael. And the melodies just carried you away. Marilyn Rea Beyer, Music Director and Host of Acoustic Images, 91.9 FM (WUMB-FM) Boston, MA
Michael Mandrell's music is peaceful, melodic, and sophisticated, the kind of music I love to listen to. His tape is on "permanent rotation" in our home. Eliza Gilkyson
He is the most versatile guitar player I've ever encountered and he deserves great success. I have seen him play his unique blend of jazz, folk and classic for hardcore country audiences...what else can I say? Michael Martin Murphey
Michael's blend of Celtic, jazz and New Age music will show you just what a six and twelve string guitar can do in the hands of a real master of the craft. Jenny Bird
The music he makes is a wholly instrumental mélange that draws its inspiration from any number of disciplines. Folk, Classical, Celtic and New Age elements all find their way into this eclectic contemporary mix. David Prince, The Santa Fe New Mexican
Michael Mandrell has appeared with: Lyle Lovett, Nanci Griffith, Bill Miller, John Gorka, Kate Wolf, Dave Swarbrick/Simon Nichol, Johnny Cunningham, Spyro Gyra, Carl Struck, California Guitar Trio, William Ackerman, Christine Lavine, Robert Mirabal, Shadowfax, Townes Van Zandt and Steve Fromholtz.Michael Mandrell plays guitar on Jenny Bird's "Eternal Flight" and Angel's Gift", Eliza Gilkyson's "Through the Looking Glass" and "Taos - The Deepening Edge."
Michael has also performed at many New Thought Churches across the country. Here's a few comments from ministers and music directors as well as a list of churches where Michael has appeared:
Michael’s music touches my heart. When he played for our Celebration of Life Church service, he knew exactly how to measure the flow of energy throughout the service. We ask for energy raising music to begin, music to open the heart for meditation and music to support the message before and after to keep the love energy flowing. Michael’s selection in each instance brought us right to the place I wanted us to be. My heart was so open, I almost decided not to give a talk and just let him play some more!
We love vocal selections in our service, but having the instrumental music throughout the service was a breath of fresh air.
Rev. Lari Goold
Celebration of Life Church of Religious Science
"It is my honor to introduce you to Michael Mandrell, a man who's music will enhance your service and uplift your heart. Michael co-creates musical tone poems on his guitar -a Spiritual message cloaked in modern acoustic sound. This innovative, original music is not to be missed. Michael is often heard on NPR, and has done 'special music' and church concerts for many Unity Churches (including the Pyramid in Houston) and his music always garners a warm response. Don't miss this opportunity for your congregation to experience this gifted guitarist."
Rev. Cele Knight, Independent Unity Minister
Spiritual Truth Fellowship
"Michael is a gifted guitarist. Our rhythm section LOVED having him join them for Sunday services, and his solo music simply transported us to a wonderful place."
Music Director, Unity Church of North Idaho
Coeur D’Alene, ID
April 19, 2006
"Michael Mandrell swept us away with his guitar music that was like a travelogue across the world spectrum of sound. You could be walking down in a street in Bombay or Casablanca or Istanbul. Our church loved him!"
-Rev. Frances Lorenz, Center for Spiritual Living-Tacoma, WA.
February 27, 2005
Thanks for coming out to perform your music at Unity of Woodinville! It was a joy to experience your guitar playing. With my eyes closed, I found
myself carried away by the melody and rhythm of the songs. It was a spiritual experience that filled the room and hearts of everyone present. I heard many positive comments about your music and requests to have you out
again so we look forward to having you back in the near future."
Unity of Woodinville Music Coordinator
October 3, 2004
Thanks so much for sharing your incredible talents and
joy with us at Unity-By-The-Sea. Your music, smile,
and energy are inspirational and touched us deeply.
We hope to enjoy your presence again."
Blessings of Love,
Rev Jean Celia
Unity by the Sea
"Michael's music was beautifully spiritual and he held our congregation spellbound. His multiple-influenced sound convinced many members of our congregation that music doesn't have to have words to have a 'message'."
Woodside Spiritual Center
(Bellingham Church of Religious Science)
May 30, 2004
"I am happy to recommend the music of Michael Mandrell. He is an excellent musician with a wonderful ability to work his talents in with the Sunday program format. His music added so much to the enjoyment of our congregants, and a wonderful background to our meditations.
Michael's warm and joyful presence on our platform was an added benefit. I'm sure Michael will be a blessing to whomever he graces with his presence."
C. Richard Stone
West Sound Unity Church
"Michael has become a regular guest at Abundant Life Center, a “New Thought” church in Vancouver, Washington. This association is a distinct pleasure.
In addition to his superb musicianship, Michael is a skilled composer. His music is soothing and soulful. It is a mistake to lump Michael into any particular genre – to say it’s “new age” would be misleading. His works contain a whole wide world full of musical influences. Best of all, Michael has the ability to connect with his audience on a deep and spiritual level. Abundant Life Center congregants sincerely appreciate Michael’s visits."
Abundant Life Center, Vancouver, Washington
“...Michael is the amazing guitar player we've had as guest music in May the last 2 years. He is a congregation favorite”.
Deanna Reitan – music director
Seattle Unity, WA. October 2003
“When Michael plays, his music fills me with joy and I am even more inspired to be the open flute that I am. Thank you for this great gift and spiritual presence.”
Whidbey Island Unity
Whidbey Island, WA July 2002
“The playing of your music is a beautiful, awesome and sacred experience.”
Whidbey Island Unity
Whidbey Island, WA
"It was such a delight to have you play at our Church! Your music is wonderful, sparkling, inspirational and peaceful at the same time.
It is always awe-inspiring to watch and hear someone do something which they do so well. You are such a professional that you almost make it look easy to create such beautiful music. I have heard nothing but praise for your performance and presence, as well as "When can he come back?" -- the highest form of praise, indeed.
I too would welcome you back any time you are on the Oregon Coast. Again, many thanks, With a hug,"
Ocean Unity Church
"Our congregation really loved your music. I had an interesting experience leading our meditation with you two playing behind me, I could feel the music moving me as I led the meditation. It was a wonderfully connected experience. You guys are great. God bless you both."
Rev. Jim Fuller
Unity of Albany
"Thank you for the beautiful music you shared with us at the H.O.M.E. Center on August 10th. We would love to have you back again. By the way I have a friend that loved your CD so much that she has not returned to me yet. She said "I could listen to his music all day long!" I think I may have to buy one for myself and give her mine for a gift. I am happy she likes it so.
H.O.M.E. Spiritual Center
"Michael - you are an absolute delight. I look forward to working with
you again ... I wish it could be sooner."
Seattle Unity Music Ministry
"Hey Michael! Thanks so much for your great work today - they said you were great "called you a gem" and that the services went very nicely."
Seattle Unity Music Ministry
"Michael's appearance in our worship service added immensely to the morning. His technical skills combined with his awareness of the needs of worship flow made for a seamless experience."
Jefferson Unitarian Church
List of churches where Michael has appeared:
Unity Church of Christianity
(The Pyramid) Houston, TX
Unity in the Redwoods Eureka, CA
Boulder Unity Boulder, CO
Unity in the Hills Eugene, OR
Unity of Laguna Hills Laguna Hills, CA
Unity in the Hills Austin, TX
Unity of Albany Albany, NY
New Thought Unity of Cincinnati
Unity of Port Townsend
Port Townsend, WA
Ocean Unity Church Newport OR
First Unitarian Universalist Houston, TX
Redding Church of Religious Science
Ashland Unitarian Church Ashland, OR
Seattle Unity Seattle, WA
Unity of San Marcos San Marcos, TX
Unity of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, PA
Santa Fe Unity Santa Fe, NM
Celebration Church Santa Fe, NM
Christ Unity Church Albuquerque, NM
Unity of Olympia Olympia, WA
The Abundant Life Center Vancouver, WA
New Thought Unity of Spokane
Albq. Church of Religious Science Albuquerque, NM
Columbine Unity Church Boulder, CO
Whidbey Island Unity Church
Whidbey Island, WA
West Sound Unity Church Bremerton, WA
Eastside Center for Spiritual Living Kirkland, WA
Portland Church of Religious Science
Edgewood Unity Edgewood, WA
HOME Center Salem, OR
Unity of Corvallis Corvallis, OR
Creative Life Religious Science Center
Austin Heights Baptist Church Nacogdoches, TX
Unity Church of Practical Christianity
Unity Church of Kona Kona, HI
Oroville Religious Science Center Oroville, CA
Unity of the Gold Country Nevada City, CA
Spiritual Life Center Santa Rosa, CA
Unity of Woodinville Woodinville, WA
Unity of Costa Rica San Jose, CR
Unity of the Rockies Colorado Springs, CO
New Thought Ministries of Oregon Portland, OR
Unity Church of Pasadena Pasadena, CA
East San Gabriel Valley CORS Covina, CA
Religious Science of Huntington Beach Huntington Beach, CA
Religious Science Church of Today
Sun City, CA
Unity of Tustin Tustin, CA
Light of Life Church (CORS) Rancho Bernardo, CA
Pacific Church of Religious Science
San Diego, CA
Fallbrook Church of Religious Science Fallbrook, CA
Unity of Sacramento (Spiritual Life Center) Sacramento, CA
Unity of Bend Bend, OR
Unity of Portland Portland, OR
Unity of Salem Salem, OR
Center for Spiritual Awareness (CORS) Seattle, OR
Woodside Spiritual Center (CORS) Bellingham, WA
North Peninsula Unity Kingston, WA
Unity of the Olympics Port Angeles, WA
Unity Church in Lynnwood Lynnwood, WA
High Plains Unitarian Church Colorado Springs, CO
Grants Pass Community Church (CORS)
Grants Pass, OR
Unity Spiritual Enrichment Center Roseburg, OR
Unity of Bandon Bandon, OR
Ukiah Religious Science for Positive Living Ukiah, CA
Unity Church of Antioch Antioch, CA
Unity of Atlanta Atlanta, GA
NW Community Unitarian Church Houston, TX
Spiritual Truth Fellowship Nacogdoches, TX
Evolving Life Ministries w/ Mary Manin Morrissey Portland, OR
Center for Spiritual Living (CORS) Tacoma, WA
Spiritual Living Center (CORS) Carson City, NV
Lakeside Community Church Reno, NV
First Church of Religious Science Las Vegas, NV
Center of the Heart (CORS) Santa Barbara, CA
Church of Religious Science of Ventura Ventura, CA.
Yucca Valley CORS Yucca Valley, CA
Unity Church of Sedona Sedona, AZ
Unity Church of N. Idaho Coeur ‘d Alene, ID
Granada Hills Church of Religious Science Granada Hills, CA
Unity Church of Grand Junction Grand Junction, CO
Center of Religious Science Delta, CO
Living Water Unity Church Arvada,CO
Unity of the Mountains Avon, CO
All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church Colorado Springs, CO
Whole Life Church (CORS) Fort Collins, CO
Creative Living Church (CORS) Greeley, CO
First Universalist Church Denver, CO
Salt Lake City Church of Religious Science Salt Lake City, UT
Eugene Spiritual Growth Center Eugene, OR
Church of Truth Pasadena, CA
Spirit Works (CORS) Burbank, CA
Common Ground Santa Ana, CA
Unity of El Cajon El Cajon, CA
Unity of Carlsbad Carlsbad, CA
Palm Springs Spiritual Enrichment Center Palm Springs, CA
Science of Mind in Yuma Yuma, AZ
Unity of Tucson Tucson, AZ
Unity of Green Valley Sahurita, AZ
Science of Mind Center of Cochise Valley Bisbee, AZ
Spiritual Enrichment Center Peoria, AZ
New Vision Spiritual Growth Center Scottsdale, AZ
Unity of Divine Love Chandler, AZ
Unity of Flagstaff Flagstaff, AZ
Unity of Kingman Kingman, AZ
The Center..a Model for Positive Living Las Vegas, NV
Spiritual Enrichment Center Chico, CA
Center of Light (CORS) Lancaster, CA
Camarillo Church of Religious Camarillo, CA
Idyllwild Church of Religious Science Idyllwild, CA
North Houston Unity Church Houston, TX
Unity World Healing Center Lake Oswego, OR
The Whole Life Church (CORS) Lake Oswego, OR
Portland Center for Spiritual Awareness Portland, OR
Center fopr Spiritual Living Boise, ID
Unity of Santa Barbara Santa Barbara, CA