About Us


is an inventive acoustic group with notable originals and novel twists on covers. It can be seen in many shapes. Solo, Duo or Trio with a mix of talented artists sharing the stage with Michael in the latter. The guitar and vocals, backed up by a mix of hand drums and/or banjo create a new sound for today's music scene.

Since 2004, The Michael Handler Project has inspired audiences to sit up, listen, and sing along with their crowd pleasing pop-rock tunes and personable stage presence. Whether at corporate happy hours or the weekend bar frenzy, The Michael Handler Project always makes an impact, generating new enthusiasts who look for an encore.

About Us


MICHAEL HANDLER - Acoustic Guitar, Vocals

Michael's individuality and unique musical style developed through frequent moves across the Midwest as a child. In the midst of "always being the new kid," music became the constant for Michael. He taught himself piano at an early age and turned to guitar as an adult, constantly writing songs along the way.  In 2000, with his growing guitar talent, Handler formed the band, The Afterglow, with percussionist Brad Draper. When The Afterglow split up, Brad, who had been focusing on drum set, suggested the idea of an acoustic duo.


DAN FERSTENOU - Guitar, Banjo, Bass, Vocals

Dan grew up in western Wisconsin where he taught himself guitar at a young age. He played guitar in various bands in high school and throughout college. His diverse musical interests and talents continued after moving to Saint Paul.   He adds intrigue and body to the Michael Handler Project by switching between guitar, banjo and bass as well as singing.    You can find him playing solo shows around the Twin Cities as well!


JOHN MICHAELS - Percussion, Vocals

John has been banging on things since he was a child.  A native of St. Paul, John has been a member of several Twin Cities Pop and Rock bands, as a drummer and vocalist.  As the newest member of The Michael Handler Project, John is responsible for fetching beverages for Dan, and retrieving Michael’s dropped guitar picks.