Tuesdays, Midnight – 5am
Saturdays, Midnight – 9am
Michelle Maestas Simonsen hails from just about as Pacific Northwest as a person can get in Wasilla, Alaska which is about 50 miles north of Anchorage. Hiking, fishing, camping, boating and flying were the norm growing up and her love for the outdoors and travel continues today. She typically loves to wrap a music history destination around travel. (Such as Vienna or Paris!) A recent favorite trip included the Basque Country in Spain and France.
Currently, she is in a continuous state of travel on a west coast loop of California, Hawaii, Washington and Alaska to work and to visit family and friends that reside there. She often sees more friends in the SeaTac airport than when she’s at home.
While exploring her love of nature she also discovered her love of classical music and radio. As a child she grew up listening to classical orchestral music and operas, her grandmother, a professional Chinese brush painter and classical pianist also influenced her decision to study music and the arts. She finished her high school education at The Interlochen Arts Academy studying classical and jazz saxophone and continued on to University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music where she earned a degree in saxophone performance. She also holds a Masters in Communication Management that focused on broadcast, entertainment, and leadership from the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.
Michelle has produced and overseen tens of thousands of recordings and performances as a director of production including orchestras featuring classical giants such as conductors, Michael Tilson Thomas, Carl St.Clair, Paul Salamunovich, and musicians such as Yo-Yo Ma to Midori to Pepe Romero to Chamber Music with the Kronos Quartet to the Piatigorsky International Cello Festivals. Her experience with live music and performance also extends to other genres and she has had the pleasure to work with Patrice Rushen, Bob Mintzer, Peter Erskine, Elton John and Steve Miller to name a few. She’s also produced the live aspects of broadcast concerts and events over the last 17 years. If she is not behind the scenes she is on the stage playing saxophone, singing, or speaking to the audience.
Michelle lives with her trumpet playing husband, Dr. Walter Simonsen. When she isn’t playing or listening to music you can find her in her garden, on the golf course, drawing, or volunteering her time with a local food bank.