Michael is a champion musician, dancer, singer, songwriter, composer, writer and entertainer who began his career in Irish music and dancing at the age of 5. Musically, his first instrument was the button accordion, learned under the guidance of the late great Roscommon accordionist John Glynn. Later, Michael's instrument play-list would expand to include the violin, tin whistle, piano, drums, percussion, mandolin, harmonica, foot-base, and guitar, amongst others. A 1976 Fleadh Cheol All-Ireland Lilting Champion, he was also a multiple award winning US Fleadh Cheol Irish button accordion champion during the 1970s as well as a violinist/drummer in the Galtymore Ceili Band under the direction of Limerick fiddle great, Martin Mulvihill.
Michael’s competitive dancing career spanned 15 years solely under the tutelage of dance master Cyril McNiff (TCRG/ADCRG), originally of Belfast. During that time, he won the North American National Championships in 1971 and 1975 as well as The Eastern Regional Championships in 1976. He also competed at The All-World Dancing Championships in Dublin, Ireland many times during the 1970s.
Michael throughout his career has continued to combine singing, music and dancing into his various performances. His television appearances include "The Merv Griffin Show", Bob McAllister's "Wonderama", "Up the Irish", and the soap opera, "Ryan's Hope", where he both acted and danced. Michael's other acting stints have come in the form of live theater in New York City. Those credits include singing or leading parts in such musicals as "Oliver", " The Music Man", "The Pajama Game", "South Pacific", and "What Price X-Mas". He has performed in Carnegie Hall with Carmel Quinn, The Felt Forum at Madison Square Garden with Tommy Makem and the Clancy Brothers, The United Nations General Assembly Hall at the request of the Irish Embassy, as well as Gracie Mansion and The Jacob Javits Center, amongst many other high-profile showcase events. He has performed with many other notable New York based showbands such as Pat Conway and The Shenanigans, The Dermot Henry Band, and The Christy O'Connor Band. Michael later formed his own band where he was the lead vocalist and guitarist. He and his band became the resident showband at Rosie O'Gradys (Midtown Manhattan), The Gloccamora Pub (Lower Manhattan’s Eastside), with a summer residence in the Catskills Mountains at The Sligo House from 1981 through 1984. Michael earned his Irish Dancing Teachers Degree, known as a TCRG, from An Coimisiún le Rinci Gaelacha in Dublin, Ireland also in 1984. He was instrumental at that time in his career as a musical assistant and choreographer to various dancing schools regarding their Dance Drama and Show Teams.
Michael moved from New York to Boston in 1984 to attend professional school and in 1985 joined with singer/entertainer Norman Payne to form a duo and become resident band at The Cape Cod Irish Village in West Yarmouth, MA. In 1992, Michael branched out and started performing as a "one man band" soloist, playing and singing on the Irish pub circuit in the greater Boston area while continuing on as a resident performing artist at The Cape Cod Irish Village, a position he held until 1997. He also made concert guest appearances with popular Boston bands such as Dickie McManus and the Irish Revolution, Joe Glynn and the Irish Mist, John Joe Summers and The Kerrymen, The Mike Carroll Band with whom he was a featured dancer on The Royal Majesty Cruise Line, and Tim Keohane with the incredibly popular and dynamic band "Tradition".
Michael is presently enjoying his "second tour of duty" on the feis Musician circuit. He originally played feiseanna from 1975 through 1987 before taking a 10 year hiatus to pursue other musical career interests in cabaret, which included creating and performing in production shows in Las Vegas during New Year's and St Patrick's Day between the years 1995 and 2000. He headlined at The Maxim Hotel, Las Vegas, along with Marjie Delaney, formerly the female lead singer with Brendan Bowyer and The Royal Showband. Together, Michael and Marjie also performed at Harrah's Casino, The Luxor, New York-New York, The Freemont Street Experience, The Las Vegas Hilton, and The Desert Inn Showroom. In February 2008 he performed as a featured Dancer/Singer/Musician on Holland America’s Irish All-Star Cruise where he debuted an original musical score as well as original Irish dance routines that he himself created, choreographed, and danced as a soloist. Michael started his return to the feis musician circuit in 1997, yet still maintains an open cabaret schedule. Since returning, Michael has played several world qualifying events such as The US New England Regional Oireachtas (2003-2007) and The US Southern Regional Oireachtas (2004-2007) . In 2008 he played The North American Championships (July 2008) and in 2009, he has been selected to play The All-World Dancing Championships (Oireachtas Rince Na Cruinne).
Michael re-affirmed his commitment to organized Irish Dancing in 2006 when he took and passed his ADCRG Exam to become an adjudicator of Irish dance, again under the auspices of the governing body of Irish Dancing, An Coimisiún Le Rinci Gaelacha of Dublin, Ireland. He also passed the Irish language portion of that exam, which as a US resident, he was not compelled to take. Since earning that degree, he has been prominent as an Adjudicator on the circuit of Irish Dancing Competitions (Feiseanna) throughout the United States. Some highlights of this new career path are his recent selection to judge a world qualifying event, namely The US Southern Regional Championships (December 2008) as well as his selection to judge the 2009 North American Dancing Championships to be held in Nashville, Tennessee (July 2009). He is presently a member of The Irish Dancing Teachers Association of New England’s Executive Board, serving as Treasurer. He previously served as Regional Recording Secretary.
Michael has been both a musician and Adjudicator for the 2013 NAFC Championships, and musician for the 2014 NAFC Championships. Looking ahead, Michael will be Adjudicating the 2014 Southern Regional Oireachtas which is a World Qualifying Event, returning to Russia for a joint workshop of Music and Dance in March 2015, and has been selected to serve as Treasurer and Musician Committee Chairman for the 2015 North American Irish Dancing Championships to be held in July at The Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence Rhode Island. In the Fall of 2015, will arrive the expected release of Michael's next musical project.