KORATET performs July 28 at Artichoke Music in Portland. Get your Tickets now! 

A collaborator at heart, Michael Shay is one of the most versatile artists you'll ever hope to hear.  As cellist in world fusion ensembles Koratet (kora, trumpet, cello, and percussion) and The Just Desserts (accordion and cello), as vocalist, guitarist, and cellist in his many original "Americana" projects, or as electric bassist in The Portland Klezmer All-Stars, Shay's performances will always be a little different, and always in the company of other equally unique musicians.

Shay is Coordinator of the Portland Community Music Center, a 60-year old partnership between the City of Portland Oregon Parks and Recreation Department and CMC Inc., a non-profit which provides up to 100% tuition assistance to hundreds of CMC students every year.  As an independent educator, he has offered ensemble coaching, private lessons and workshops in many genres and on many instruments since 2001, and in 2007 Shay founded Music Forever Music Together, a school for early childhood family music classes that continues operations in Austin, Texas.


The latest Michael Shay vocal album,  "Like a River; The Songs of Jim Harris" was released in November 2017.  Co-produced with guitarist Donald Régnier, the album features Ryan Hagler, Matt Giles, Marty Muse (Robert Earl Keen), Brian Oberlin, Chris Kee (Peter Rowan/Buddy Miller), "King" Louis Pain on Hammond B-3 organ, plus engineering and mixing by Chris Shaw (Bob Dylan).  Available on CDbabyiTunesor Amazon.  Read more about the new record here, and stream three songs now:  

                         Like A River        Abilene         Desire     


 In the Pacific Northwest, Shay performs original country-folk, bluegrass, and roots-Americana repertoire in ensembles featuring upright bass, mandolin, guitar, cello, and three-part harmonies with collaborators such as Chris Kee, Peter "Spud" Siegel, Mark Shark, Brian Oberlin, Julay Brooks, and Annie Staninec.  

 Blending the nuance of a classically-trained musician, the twang of a born-and-bred Texan, and a genre-bouncing career spent collaborating with musicians from around the world, Shay's approach as a singer-songwriter falls comfortably outside any "Americana" box while still evoking his earliest influences: Townes Van Zandt, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, and the Grateful Dead.   Like those of his longtime songwriting collaborator Jim Harris, Shay’s songs are as likely to touch down in the bars and backroads of cow towns as in the graveyards and parlours of old Europe, dancing with the ghosts of William Blake, Hank Williams, or Sappho... sometimes while you dance too.


As cellist in world music accordion-cello duo The Just Desserts and as singer-songwriter/guitarist leading his country/bluegrass band The Texas Express, Shay released several albums and toured in Canada, Italy, Spain, Morocco, Germany, France, England, Denmark, Ecuador, Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, and Mexico in addition to the United States.  He has acted as a cultural ambassador in Ecuador and Colombia, performing and leading workshops under the auspices of the US State Department.  


 Shay has performed/recorded/collaborated with Anais Mitchell, Jonathan Byrd, Eliza Gilkyson, Zoe Lewis, Patrick McAvinue, Sam Guthridge, Jordan Tice, Brittany Haas, Phoebe Hunt, Eleanor Whitmore-Masterson, Mark Rubin (Bad Livers), Will Taylor, Cyril Neville (Neville Brothers), Conrad Choucroun, Matt Hubbard, Carolyn Wonderland, Guy Forsyth, Matt Fockler, Geoff Union, Johnsmith, Paula Nelson, Libby Kirkpatrick, Idgy Vaughn, Alex Coke, Wayne Sutton, Matt Giles, Jonathan Doyle, Maria Tejada, Donald Regnier, Paco Godoy, Mariela Condo, MUNN, Orquesta de Instrumentos Andinos Quito, Mark Shark, Brian Oberlin, Spud Siegel, Chris Kee, Annie Staninec, Julay Brooks, David Phillips, Will Dudley, Jonathan Roberts, Steven Skolnik, Josh Feinberg, Ben Blechman, Ralph Huntley, Peter Schwimmer, Michelle Alany, Courtney Von Drehle, Andrew Borger, Andrew Alikhanov, and many others. 



Michael Shay Audio Player

Signup for Email List: