Saxophonist Michael Shults has been praised for his “strong, imaginative” improvisations (Downbeat Magazine) and “fresh and intelligent musical ideas” (The Pitch). A first-call musician on the Kansas City jazz scene for nearly a decade, Shults remains an active performer in the Fountain City and beyond, and has twice appeared as a sideman on the Jazzweek National Radio Airplay Charts. As a graduate student at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Michael was a finalist in the 2012 North American Saxophone Alliance Jazz Artist Competition, and was the winner of the Graduate College Soloist category in the 2012 Downbeat Magazine Student Music Awards Issue. He has performed by invitation as a featured soloist at the North American Saxophone Alliance biennial conference, the Jazz Education Network conference, the Wisconsin Music Educator's Association conference, the Minnesota Music Educator's Association conference, and the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival.
As a concert saxophonist, Shults has been praised for his “jaw-dropping” and “authoritative” performances (Bill Brownlee of the Kansas City Star) and has performed by invitation at the College Band Director's National Association conference, North American Saxophone Alliance biennial conference, the Minnesota Music Educator's Association conference, and the University of Iowa Festival for New Music. Dr. Shults has been a featured soloist with the Mid-Kansas Symphony and the Rhodes College Orchestra. He is a founding faculty member of the Kansas City Saxophone Workshop along with Zach Shemon, alto saxophonist of the PRISM Quartet. Dr. Shults has also served on the faculty of the Eugene Rousseau Saxophone Workshop at Shell Lake Arts Center. He is currently the alto saxophone chair in the Coalescent Quartet.
Michael is Assistant Professor of Saxophone at the University of Memphis. Prior to Memphis, he taught for four years at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He is a Yamaha and D’Addario performing artist and performs on their instruments and reeds exclusively.