MANHATTAN – Okay, I’m just gonna say it: My best friend’s a rockstar.
And yes, his meteoric rise through the jazz echelon of New York’s enough to Dizzy even Gillespie.
Long before our high-school years in Rochester, New York and the Eastman School of Music preparatory department (now the Community Music School), Mike was shredding, jamming and rollin’ to the likes of Clifford Brown, Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, Lee Morgan and Roy Hargrove.
A major source of inspiration for Mike has been Daniel McMurray, a former band director at Rush-Henrietta. Mike continues to honor McMurray’s legacy, and returns to the Rochester International Jazz Festival annually as a resident featured artist and clinician.
Under the tutelage of Clay Jenkins of the Clayton/Hamilton Orchestra and Douglas Prosser, Principal Trumpeter of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Mike was a member of the Eastman New Jazz and Downbeat ensembles.
Mike has shared the stage with household names such as Clark Terry, Slide Hampton, John Hollenbeck, Peter Erskine, Rufus Reid and Marian McPartland.
In addition to a double major in jazz performance and music education, Mike also performed with the Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, the Commission Project and Grand Hotel Orchestra on Mackinac Island, Michigan during his time at Eastman.
While pursuing his master’s at the Juilliard School, Mike worked with jazz greats Chris Jaudes and Dr. Eddie Henderson.
Other masterclasses included Benny Golson, Terence Blanchard, Ron Blake, Ted Nash, Carl Allen, Ben Wolfe, Ray Drummond and Joe Wilder.
Mike’s pedigree continued through his role in leading the Juilliard Jazz Ensemble on trips to Columbia, South America, Salt Lake City, Utah and performing on the Queen Mary 2 as a guest artist.
Currently residing in New York City, Mike performs weekly at the Bar Basque and Black Duck Restaurants in Chelsea. He has also performed with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra at Rose Hall and in other venues and shows,
including: Smalls Jazz Club, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, the Four Seasons Restaurant, the Living Room, Rockwood Music Hall, the TONYS and the Broadway production of “HAIR.”
In early August, Mike will return to the Blue Note Jazz Club as a bandleader, where he will feature music from his debut album, Just Remember as the opening quintet for the legendary McCoy Tyner.
The official release date is set for August 9th.