Whether it’s locally in his native state of Colorado, across virtual platforms, or internationally - guitarist and educator, Michael Isabell, is usually found coaching and inspiring others to explore, learn, and enjoy their instruments. Teaching privately at the Sollohub School of Music (since 2012), coaching alongside Yaakov Hoter of gypsyandjazz.com (since 2021), teaching at the immersive guitar retreats in the hills of Tuscany, or hosting students and workshops at his annual RockyMtn Gypsy Jazz Festival - Michael is truly in his element when teaching the guitar. Students of all ages and levels have relied on Michael to guide them through the processes of learning and evolving with their instruments. The passion for his craft and consistent retention of long-time pupils are reflections of his dedication.
Drawing from his inspirations across a large spectrum of influential musicians, teachers, and philosophers, Michael has spent decades exploring various styles and techniques. Coupled with his outstanding communication skills and creative problem solving, he has created a learning environment and process to be trusted and enjoyed. Continuing education and growth as both a teacher and performing musician has been a cornerstone of Michael’s philosophy - “There is no finish line, only a deeper understanding and connection to the music and our instruments.”
Inspired by musical greats like; Louis Armstrong, Django Reinhardt, Oscar Aleman, and beyond - Michael expanded in new directions as both a student and teacher in a new style, and a very unfamiliar way to approach an instrument he’d already spent decades with. “It’s important for me to maintain the perspective of a beginner, and be flexible in my approaches to teaching.” - understanding that the process is often not a ‘one size fits all.’
Gypsy jazz has taken Michael internationally to Iceland and Italy, as well as connecting around the world through an online coaching program (gypsyandjazz.com). He has shared stages and radio broadcasts with the likes of; Robin Nolan, Samson Schmitt, Olli Soikkeli, Christian van Hemert, Tommy Davy, and Lisa Liu. Joining Israeli guitarist and teacher/founder of gypsyandjazz.com - Yaakov Hoter “has been a game changer for me” states Michael. “A friend and mentor that has taken my teaching and playing to entirely new levels!”
Partnered with the Rocky Mountain Archtop Festival, in conjunction with the Olde Town Shindig, Michael hosts the RockyMtn Gypsy Jazz Festival. Alongside the various Gypsy jazz and swing groups he frequents, you can find him leading the Hot Club of Olde Town, and hosting a weekly acoustic jam at Silver Vines Winery in Olde Town Arvada.