Before launching her piano-based band, Michelle co-led Zarate Pollace Project (ZPP) with guitarist Abel Zarate (who also wrote hit songs for Malo and Willie Bobo). ZPP released the CD "Soul Redemption" in 2005, enlisting the musical contributions of many Bay Area luminaries, including John Santos, Paul VanWageningen, David Belove, Michael Spiro, Curtis Ohlson, and others to realize the blend of jazz, fusion, Brazilian, and Afro-Cuban styles comprising ZPP's music. It was Abel and Michelle's goal to create a Latin/Brazilian-flavored contemporary jazz with a positive, uplifting message, and, most important, to make the record they wanted to make. The result was a work that somewhat defied categorization -- a blend of smooth jazz, jazz fusion, and Latin jazz, with Abel's signature gift of writing beautiful melody and playing soulful lines, with Michelle's knack for off-the-beaten path harmonic stuctures. The disc garnered worldwide radio airplay and favorable reviews.
"Zarate, Pollace and their friends get it. They rise above sheer technical mastery to exhibit true compassion and beauty with every note they play." -- Joe Ross, Amazon.com CD review
"Abel has travelled a long way from his Malo days. If you enjoy Metheny, Ritenour, Scofield, Carlton, and Benson, then you'll love what he's up to ... His solo lines are silky and fluid with purpose. Michelle Pollace is a dream keyboardist ... Lovely chord voicings, pulsating montunos, along with superb fusion chops ... what a treat she is to hear." -- Oscar Moreno, Moonflower Cafe gig review
"Your sound is honest and real." -- audience comment
"Your music is original yet familiar at the same time ... Just the right mix of romanticism and fire." -- audience comment