In 2006 Michael Zisman picked up a mandolin and hasn't been the same since...
In his own words:
“After earning a bachelors degree in music and performing for 20+ years as a accompanist for others (on acoustic and electric bass), I picked up a mandolin on a whim and I never looked back. After a lot of practice on that instrument, I decided I wanted to lead a band and that the mandolin would be my musical voice.”
“In order to continue my life-long love affair with melodies, I have spent years learning to speak the language of music. To me, all the various styles of music I have heard since childhood are just different dialects of the same language. With the mandolin, I wanted to approach all the songs that I love, no matter what musical tradition they came from, and I wanted to use my many years of musical experience to tell these musical stories in my own way.”
“If there is one thing I learned over these years in music, it is that musicians (and really all entertainers) are storytellers. I love the melodies that unfold stories; stories of love, stories of great deeds, stories of passion; and I love to entertain people by retelling these stories in my own way and sometimes I even like to write and tell my own stories. If musical stories are told right, they can transport the listener and set a mood in an environment and inspire people to live their own stories.”
“Experience has taught me to entertain people first with musical stories they know. As long as the listener knows the basic story they will be open your embellishments and abstractions. After that they are much more receptive to musical stories that may be new to them...”