Michael Malis is a pianist and composer based in Detroit, MI. As a pianist, he has shared the stage with a diverse array of musicians, including notables such as Marcus Belgrave, Marion Hayden, Andrew Bishop, Ken Filiano, Vincent York, Dennis Coffey, and Vincent Chandler. He also leads a quartet which showcases his own original music. Malis currently maintains three weekly residencies in clubs around the Detroit area: every Tuesday night with the up and coming saxophonist Marcus Elliot at Cliff Bell’s; every Friday night with trumpet heavyweight John Douglas at Bert’s Marketplace in Eastern Market; and every Sunday with the Heather Black Project at the Raven’s Club in Ann Arbor. In September of 2013, Malis began his appointment as the Musical Director at the Canterbury House in Ann Arbor. The Canterbury House is a performance space and Episcopal Church that has been a staple in the Ann Arbor performing arts community for years. As a composer, he was awarded “Best Musical Score” in the 2011 Lightworks Film Festival for his score to the short film “Slash/Fiction.” He has continued to write music for film since then, scoring a total of three short films and one full length feature film. He began writing music for theater in 2012, writing the musical score for “The Mute Quire”, a play by the Fratellanza Theater Company, which premiered at the New Theater Project in Ypsilanti, MI, in June of 2012. “The Mute Quire” was performed in Galway Ireland last summer. His second collaboration with Fratellanza, “String Up the Moon,” premiered in Detroit in September of 2013. Malis recently composed the score to the full length feature film “Papou,” from Mother and Midwife productions. The film is set to be released later in 2015. He started playing the piano at age five, and started writing music shortly thereafter. In high school, he began his studies in earnest with Detroit jazz piano legend Bess Bonnier. After high school, he attended the University of Michigan, where he studied with the eminent jazz pianist Geri Allen. While at Michigan, he had the honor of representing the University as a featured soloist at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. as part of their ongoing “Conservatory Project” concert series.
- Monica Petty Aiello