Mike Bell is a scholar and author by day but a composer and performer by night.

Michael Bell is a composer, songwriter, and performer in both classical and grassroots traditions, often combining the two. His composition has an engaging and melodic sound and includes dozens of works for chamber ensembles, symphony, choir, mandolin orchestra, and solo piano. He recently completed his first symphony, Regeneration: A Pentalogy, which will be choreographed and danced by Kanopy Dance and premiered by the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra.

In 2010, Michael co-founded the award-winning quintet Graminy, whose four albums bring grassroots and classical music together in a style the group calls “class-grass.”

Michael is also a songwriter, focusing on social and environmental themes. He loves to write instrumentals that contribute to contradance, bluegrass, and Klezmer traditions, and has composed over a hundred reels, jigs, waltzes, airs, horas, and doinas.

Michael performs widely on mandolin, guitar, and banjo, as well as a vocalist. Among his bands are Tsuzamen, Elm Duo, Noise of the BoysGraminy, and Fiddlasaurus Rex. He played for many years with the Barn Owl Band, with whom he recorded three albums.

Michael is also an author and scholar. See his separate site on his books, articles, and teaching HERE.


April 19-21, 2024 (Fri-Sun)

ConFluence: A Prelude is the launch of a world premiere and a multi-phased, creative collaboration between Kanopy Dance and Madison composer, Michael Bell (Bell), that is designed to evolve over the course of several seasons. For the initial phase of this “master work in progress”, Kanopy’s co-artistic directors, Robert E. Cleary and Lisa Thurrell, will choreograph original dances (solos, duets, group ensembles) for three principal movements in Bell’s new symphony, Regeneration: A Pentalogy.


July 24th, 7PM

Mozart, Bach, Bernstein, and Bell hit the town for this concert of orchestral stars. Known by some as “Madison’s violinist,” WCO Concertmaster Suzanne Beia showcases masterful musicianship and poise with Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5. Interludes of Bach and Bernstein set the stage for a collaboration with Kanopy Dance company, performing two works: ConFluence: A Prelude set to a new work by local composer Michael M. Bell, and Summer in the City set to Bernstein’s classic musical, On the Town.



Noise of the Boys


Elm Duo