Born in the cradle of Belgian Surrealism - La Louvière - in 1955, Michel MAINIL began his musical studies at an early age at the conservatory of La Louvière (saxophone, clarinet, theory, harmony).
Frequenting local musicians and listening to records, he discovered jazz.
John COLTRANE had a great influence on his musical development, in particular the albums "Blue Train" and "Afro Blue Impression".
Michel went to the jazz seminar at the Liège conservatory, where he worked with John RUOCCO, Steve HOUBEN, and Dennis LUXION.
Already as a student he began playing with various groups, big bands, traditional jazz, African music and theatre.
In 1983 he visited Cameroon, where he spent nearly two years performing with local groups.
His meeting with Erwin VANN during a workshop at the Brussels conservatory, led him in yet another direction out of which the group "Nemesis" was born (with Pascale LORIERS, Piet VERBIST and Guy VAERENDONCK).
As well as with his own quintet (Paolo LOVERI, Alex FURNELLE, Alain ROCHETTE, José BEDEUR and Richard ROUSSELET).
In '97, together with pianist Véronique BIZET they formed a new Quartet which is now performing regularly and is joined by a guest star Barre PHILLIPS.
Michel also joined with pianist Etienne RICHARD to form the group "A Monk's Flavour", specialising in Thelonious MONK's music.
Since 98, he has joined Jose BEDEUR's "DOLCE VITA" band with Alain ROCHETTE (p), René DESMAELE (Tp), Antoine CIRRI (Dms) and Christian LEROY on percussions. This band only plays music from film soundtracks. They have performed a.o. at the Festival du Film d'Amour in Mons.
In January '99, he sets up QUARTOUCHES, an original free music band constructed in a double quartet form : Véronique BIZET (pno), (Kb), Christia LEROY (p), Arne VAN DONGEN (b), Jose BEDEUR (Cello), Antoine CIRRI (Dms), "Cookie" LESGUILLER (Dms), Philippe SAUCEZ (Clar) and himself on soprano sax and bass-clarinet.
For several years, various groups of traditional jazz also have appealed to him as clarinettist.
He participates actively in the creation of the septet " The Jazz Migrators " with notably José Bedeur. At the same time, he plays in a quintet with René Desmaele ( Tp), Alain Rochette ( Pno), José Bedeur (Cb) and Kris Duerinckx (Dms).
He plays and records regularly with the pianist Christian Leroy.
He also played in France, the United Kingdom, Holland, Morocco, Poland and Quebec. He performed on several occasions in various festivals, in particular Liège and Brosella Jazz Festival. Also some concerts with the Rumanian singer Anca Parghel.
In 2002, He begins a project that is a mix of improvised music and visual arts.
He works regularly with the sculptor Marie-Noëlle de la Poype on various projects of which a concert in Paris.
He also takes part in several projects in the same direction, in particular with the English saxophonist Lol Coxhill as well as musicians of the "Inaudible" group in interaction with plastics technicians.
Same year he set up the Michel Mainil - Hilde Van Hove Quintet with Hilde Van Hove (Vocal), Alain Rochettte (Piano), Bart Zegers (Double bass) and George Triantafylou (Drums). This group has been turning regularly since then.
With the group Dolce Vita, he takes part in the Festival Subway Underground in Brussels in accompaniment live of the pictures Tod Browning'Dracula.
In 2003, he set up "Autumn in Blue sextet" with Richard Rousselet (Trompet), Jean-Pol Danhier (Trombone), Alain Rochette (Piano), José Bedeur (Double bass), Patrick Wante (Drums)
Michel Mainil has also played abroad, in France, Holland,Great-Britain,Morocco, Cameroun, Poland and Quebec.
For many years now he has been developing his work within different groups. He is to be found regularly as the leader of his own quartet with Alain Rochette, José Bedeur and Antoine Cirri.
His CD “Water and Other Games”was released in January 2004.
He has been a teacher in the class of jazz in Courcelles and Houdeng since 2003.
Beginning 2005 he participated to a show” Caussimon en trois mots” by the Collectif Theatre, with Jean-Claude Derudder directed by Christian Debaere after musical arrangements by Eloi Baudimont.
“Querida libertad” is a recent project with the vocalist Pierrette Laffineuse.
In 2006 : cd “Between the two solstices” with Chris Joris (Perc.), Cécile Broché (Vln), Alain Rochette (Pno), José Bedeur (Cb) and Antoine Cirri (Drums). Record engineer : Michel Andina.