Michael Shirtz is known for his versatility with jazz, contemporary, and traditional music audiences conducting, producing and performing nationally with numerous organizations, repertory theatre companies, and major festival and tribute concert productions. Credited as a “songsmith” with his interpretations as a vocalist and pianist, Shirtz has worked with such artists as Dave Brubeck, Kevin Mahogany, Melissa Manchester, Ellen Winters, Elizabeth von Trapp, among others, and currently performs and serves as music director/producer for Maureen McGovern. His touring shows As I’ve Learned It and An American Songbook Story honors jazz legends and repertoire through multimedia performances with his jazz group, the Michael Shirtz Quartet. Shirtz released his first solo album and inspirational-based show, Blue Skies in 2018 and is preparing a series of new compositional releases in 2022.
Shirtz has served on the faculty of the Conservatory of Music at Capital University, American Music Academy, faculty chair and dean at Terra State Community College, guest artist/director with Pellissippi State College, and associate director/producer of the Tri-C JazzFest & Performing Arts Series. Currently, Shirtz serves on the faculty of the Heidelberg University School of Music & Theatre teaching music composition and arts entrepreneurship, conductor of the Firelands Symphony Chorale, vocal instructor with the Firelands Symphony School of Music, artistic producer of the Jazz@8 Series, associate producer with the Jazz Education Network, and a vocal coach and clinician. His compositions for choir, orchestra, jazz band, musical theatre, and commercial music are published with SMP and his work has been issued in The Choral Journal.
Shirtz received a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies from Capital University and Master of Music in Conducting from California State University, Los Angeles. Shirtz is a member of ASCAP, African American Jazz Caucus, American Choral Directors Association, Jazz Education Network, American Choral Directors Association, and an advocate for mental health awareness.