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“‘Reggae music has been missing a few strings!’ This may well be the conclusion reached by anyone who’s heard the wonder of the Michael Greilsammer’s fusion of the soul-stroking sounds of the violin… Lead singer and band leader, Michael Greilsammer, is known as the first reggae violinist in the world, creating a sound that crumbles the boundaries of culture...Read more
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Times of Israel // Israel
Michael Greilsammer - Biography
Michael Greilsammer’s music combines a unique fusion of emotion with groove, reggae with an Irish violin, folk with rock, classical music with world music, creating a new and original sound. Michael plugs his violin into an electric amp and sings in Hebrew, French and English. The live performances, accompanied by the band, are highly energetic and promise to keep the audience on their feet.
Finally an album of local world music, that uses a wide array of sources creating an awesome musical kaleidoscope. Even if here and there, Greilsammer allows himself to throw around fragments of words and sentences, doing verbal somersaults, following his unexpected whims, we accept this as part of his artistic freedom to dare to make eclectic music that defies the borders of one's imagination” Yossi Charchonski, music critic
Michael Greilsammer was born in Jerusalem in 1981, his parents immigrated from France and Belgium, and are both university professors. Michael grew up in a traditional-religious, multilingual household, with a strong love of music. All five brothers are musicians. Michael’s older brother, David, is the conductor for the Geneva “Camerata” orchestra (GECA) and is an internationally renowned pianist. Michael started studying the violin at the age of five, and continued to train throughout his childhood as a classical musician. In his adolescence Michael began drifting away from his classical roots, influenced by Irish music, reggae and rock, and started working on his own material, exploring his own unique sound.
Michael Greilsammer started performing regularly on large stages with the established Israeli-Irish band “Black Velvet”, and has played and toured regularly with them for five years. Over the years Michael has been invited to play and collaborate with numerous Israeli legends including : Berry Sakharof, Alma Zohar, “Hatikva 6”, Alon Oleartchik, as well as joining Mosh Ben-Ari in his tour “Massa-ou-Mattan” (Negotiation).
In 2009 Michael releases his first album in France and in Israel “Mitorer- Je me réveille”. The album was released under the prestigious French label “Naïve”. The singles from the album, “Ishti Hayekara (my dear wife)” and “Yalla Boi (come on)” ranked high in the music charts, and had continuous plays over the radio and television worldwide, receiving over a million hits on the Internet.
As a result of his rising popularity, Michael was chosen as the opening act for world famous musicians; Amadou and Mariam, Macy Gray and Ziggy Marley as well as playing with the renowned Irish musicians: John McSherry and Emer Mayock.
Michael resides in Jerusalem with his wife, the singer Shimrit Greilsammer and their two sons. In 2011 Michael and Shimrit collaborated on a second joint album; “B Paris”. The album was released under the well known Israeli record label “The 8th note”. The single from the album “Tou dou dou” was chosen for the Israeli pre-Eurovision competition, and had countless plays in Israel and abroad, in Canada in particular. Following the success of the album, Michael toured extensively abroad and participated in many music festivals, such as; “The Ottawa Jazz Festival”, “Der Kulturen” in Berlin, the “Tablu” festival in India and the reggae festival in Barbados.
In 2013 Michael, along with two members from his band; Drummer Uriel Swerdin and baseplayer Ohad Eilam, put together the “Nonprofit Band”. “Nonprofit band” received an offer to record an album for free in a studio in Nice, France. The album was released online for free, as part of the band's ideology. “Nonprofit band” toured in Israel and Canada and received glowing reviews such as “Reinvented Rock and Roll”. Kelsey Sunstrum, apt613 musical blog, Canada.
Michael’s interest in the independent music distribution scene starts to grow, and he turns to managing himself, Shimrit and his band. Michael launches a “Headstart” music campaign in order to fund Shimrit’s first solo album. The campaign raised 130% of its initial goal. These days Shimrit's debut album “songs from home” is being released. The album was produced by Daniel Solomon and Michael contributes in violin and vocals.
In 2015 Michael produced a tribute show to the famous Jewish singer-songwriter, Shlomo Carlebach. The show is part of a US tour which will take place in the fall of 2017.
Michael Greilsammer is currently working on his third album.
"Michael Greilsammer continues to prove that his original Reggae-inflected Hebrew-French songs, with a splash of English, are just what the music scene needs right now…"
“Domestic Harmony”, Jerusalem Post - 2011
Reggae music has been missing a few strings!’ This may well be the conclusion reached by anyone who’s heard the wonder of the Michael Greilsammer’s fusion of the soul-stroking sounds of the violin… Lead singer and band leader, Michael Greilsammer, is known as the first reggae violinist in the world, creating a sound that crumbles the boundaries of culture and religion – then signs a peace sign into the remaining dust.”
“An eclectic Musical Journey” - Barbados Advocate - 2009
How to reach Michael
"Full Time Dad"
Featuring Yossi Sassi
Lyrics: Michael Greilsammer & Shaanan Streett
Music by Michael Greilsammer
"Guitar & Violin"
"The first great version of the song,
since Arik Einstein and Shalom Hanoch"