Blues Alley
Blues Alley


Michel Nirenberg

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Saxophonist and composer Michel Nirenberg, a native of Rio de Janeiro, has been carving out a niche in the Washington, DC jazz scene since coming to the United States in 2012.  He has already made a name for himself in Brazil, performing in many festivals and winning in competitions throughout the country while earning a bachelor’s degree in music at the top of his class from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ). In 2014, he graduated with a master’s degree in music from James Madison University, where he was a teaching assistant and active performer. Long before graduation, he was playing with top performers in both countries.

Nirenberg’s journey to the U.S. began with a competition in Brazil known as the Concurso Jovens Músicos--Música no Museu, or Competition for Young Musicians, Music in the Museum. After several rounds of competition with talented musicians from throughout Brazil, he won second place and the opportunity for an assistantship at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. In 2014, he received a master of music degree in performance -saxophone – an achievement all the more impressive because Nirenberg faced the challenge of mastering English while undertaking his studies.  Besides English and Portuguese, he is fluent in Spanish and speaks some French, reflecting the wide range of world cultures that influence his approach to music.

 “In terms of style, substance, and execution, Nirenberg ranks high. This is some brilliant Brazilian jazz." - Dan Bilawsky of All About Jazz

“A player who uses virtuosity not for self-­aggrandizement but to glorify the music.”  - Raul da Gama, Latin Jazz Network

Blues Alley

1073 Wisconsin Ave. NW Washington, DC 20007