Michele Banal graduated in Political Science at the University of Milan with a dissertation on jazz and the African-American civil rights movement. After a spell working in human rights for the European Union, he moved to London, where he received a Masters in Ethnomusicology at SOAS, focusing on African and Cuban music. He also studied classical and jazz music for several years, and has substantial experience in filming and sound recording. He is now working full-time on documentary making. Apart from being part of the Mali-Cuba team, where his main role will be to film and assemble a short film on the project, he is currently assisting the production of a music documentary for BBC Radio 2.