As he nears 30 years as a performer, Danny Michel has no intention of picking a musical genre and settling down with it.
“That would be like a prison sentence if I was told I had to play like one style of music for my entire life. I don’t know how people do it personally. Life is short and there’s so much great music. I just want to be a part of it and understand all of it that I can and soak it all up,” he said.
Mr. Michel’s albums range from rock to folk to a classical-style album with strings and brass which he recorded in the Arctic.
“I’ve kind of always been all over the map,” he said.
When the musician who lives by Collingwood, Ontario went to Belize in 2011, he heard music by the Garifuna Collective, music that surprised and delighted him and made him feel young again.
“It’s like a combination of all these different cultures – the Garifuna culture and Belize and Africa – and it’s all mixed together and it’s really interesting stuff,” he said.
After a steady diet of rock and pop music his whole life, he was amazed by the Afro-Amerindian troupe’s sounds.
“It was so refreshing to listen to music that was kind of new to my ears and fresh to my ears and so different. It was just very exciting,” he said. “I spent lots of time in Belize and got really into the music there so I discovered that band and really loved them and tracked them down and convinced them that we should make a record together.”
That album Black Birds Are Dancing Over Me led to a joint tour of Canada and the United States and to a JUNO nomination.
This summer Mr. Michel and the Garifuna Collective will be united again at Invermere MusicFest, where Mr. Michel will perform before the collective on Friday, August 16th.
“It’s going to be great. I can’t wait to see them again,” he said.
Mr. Michel will play from his “big arsenal of songs” and will share selections from his most-recent album White and Gold, in which he played the guitar, bass, drums and keyboard, which he called “the instruments of the Beatles” and “the classic rock and roll four instruments.”
“It was a lot of work but a lot of fun too,” he said.
Invermere MusicFest will take place on August 16th and 17th. Music will start at 5 p.m. both days and last well into the evening at the family-friendly festival. Tickets are available at www.invermeremusicfest.com.