Born in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and currently based in Toronto, Anthony has been involved in music since a very young age. Having played the accordion, and then alto and tenor saxophones but being driven by the ever present urge to want to play drums from the very beginning, he built his own drum set and played from ear. He attributes a strong influence to having heard classical, cultural and popular music performed by his sister and brother from the early days of his life. After realizing the importance of his interest, he decided to pursue an education in music. Anthony is a graduate of Mohawk College, has studied at the Banff Center and the Lake Placid Center for the Arts, has a Bachelor of Music from the University of Toronto specializing in Jazz Performance, has a masters degree in the Arts at York University specialized in rhythm and is currently engaged in a Ph.D. He is on staff at York University and Mohawk College Jazz Studies Programs. He is the recipient of the 2008 Mohawk College Incredible 40 at 40 for outstanding contributions to community and leadership performance. Michelli has been nominated for JUNO awards as a member of the William Carn group(2007) and Son (1996), received the 2004 Mohawk College Alumni of Distinction Award and has been nominated for the prestigious Ontario Premier’s Award 2004. In 2003 he received the Grand Prix de Jazz General Motors-Festival International de Jazz de Montreal Award (Nancy Walker Quartet) and the 1995 Jazz Report Award for National Post Secondary School Musician of the Year.
Anthony currently leads the Anthony Michelli Trio and Anthony Michelli “Bass-less” Trio (Geoff Young – Guitar and Perry White – Sax). He is also a member of the collective bands, The Anglo-Canadian Project (U.K./CAN) and the Filice, Tucci, Ray, Michelli “Shape Shifting” Group (U.K./U.S.A/CAN). He continues to be very active in supporting artists from around the world. Over the years he has had the opportunity to perform at various club and concert venues both nationally and internationally in large and small ensembles with and under the direction of various artists, some of which have included; Kenny Wheeler; Norma Winston; Anthony Braxton; Reggie Workman; Maria Schneider; Jim McNeely; Ray Anderson; Dee Daniels; Windsor Symphony Orchestra; Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra; Jeri Brown; Ranee Lee; Oliver Jones; Stan Sulzmann; Tim Ries; Dick Oates; Darryl Grant; Ingrid Jensen; Sara Jane Cion; Aaron Goldberg; D.D Jackson; Martin Speake; Nikki Iles; Rudy Smith; Hilario Duran; Sam Noto; Pat Labarbera; Ed Bickert; Reg Schwager; Rob Piltch; Lorne Lofsky; Rez Abbasi; Tony Malaby; Moe Koffman; Doug Riley; Phil Nimmons; Kirk Macdonald; Mick Hutton; Niel Swainson; Dave Young; Gary Williamson; Bernie Senesky; Don Thompson; Peter Appleyard; Joe Sealy; Mike Murley; Phil Dwyer; Carol Welsman; Roy Patterson; Hugh Fraser; Nojo; Babak Amini; Faramaz Aslani;… Some groups that he is involved with on an ongoing basis include the Brian Dickenson Trio, Adrean Farrugia Group, Nancy Walker Quartet, Dave Young Trio, Rob Clutton Group, Quinsin Nachoff’s Magic Numbers-Trio with string quartet, Lina Allemano 4, Steve Koven Trio, William Carn Quintet, Heather Bambrick Group, Mike Cado’s Nimmons N Nine Now, Martin Speake Trio, Nikki Iles Trio & Quintet, among others. Other musicians that Anthony has worked with include Ben Castle, Anthony Kerr, Sara Jane Cion (Naxos), Quinsin Nachoff Quartet (Musictronic), Shirley Eichardt, Mike Murley, Ray Andreson, Rez Abbasi (Reztone/Cathexis), Carn-Allemano Quintet (CAP), Andrew Downing’s Attention Span (Black Hen), David Occhipinti Trio (Unity-Page), Jake Langley B3 Trio (Radioland/Verve), Duncan Hopkins Quintet(Unity-Page), Son(Warner Brothers) and The Canadian Ambassadors Big Band, as well as sharing the stage with Pharoh Sanders Group and the Brad Meldau Trio.
In addition to performing, Anthony is on faculty at York University in Toronto where he teaches private lessons, workshops and designed and is the course director for the third year level Rhythm Studies course. He also teaches lessons and jazz group workshops at Mohawk College of the Applied Arts. He has taught at National Music Camp one year and has been a faculty assistant for nine years at the Inter-Provincial Jazz Camp led by Phil Nimmons. He has an extensive background in workshops, clinics and ensembles at many universities, colleges and music festivals internationally. In the past he has been involved in Yamaha, Roland and Peavey product clinics and currently Anthony is endorsed by Sonor drums, Paiste cymbals, Evans drum heads and Vater drum sticks and brushes, Earthworks microphones and HQ percussion practice pads.
Anthony is grateful to be a member of various creative and diverse musical projects allowing him to perform in many styles while applying his unique approach to the drums. His need to progress and quest for knowledge is constant, studying tabla, composing music and focusing on his own projects. Michelli has performed in Jazz festivals, clubs, concert halls and clinics supporting various prestigious artists from around the world in the following countries Japan, Australia, China, Hong Kong, the United States, Mexico, Colombia, Bahamas, Barbados, Trinidad, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and Luxembourg.