Michael Pagán, jazz piano

Michael Pagánwas born in Ravenna (near Cleveland), Ohio. He was raised in a musical family and received his first exposure to music as well as piano instruction from his parents. He remembers hearing recordings of Art Tatum, Oscar Peterson, Bill Evans, and Miles Davis, as well as Beethoven, when he was seven years old. At Kent State University he earned his Master of Arts in composition, where his teachers were James Waters, Thomas Janson, and Frank Wiley. He was a music theory student of Hugh A. Glauser, after whom the school was later named. Mike played piano in the new music ensemble under the direction of Frank Wiley and the jazz ensemble under the direction of Chas Baker. His piano teachers included Toni Glauser, Lois Rova Ozanich, Robert Palmieri, and Olga Kuehl-White of the University of Akron. The piano playing and compositions of the late Pat Pace were also an influence. During those years Mike played jazz piano and bass in the Akron-Cleveland area. He also played bass in the University Orchestra. He received his Doctor of Music degree in composition from Northwestern University, where his principle teachers were Lynden DeYoung, Alan Stout, and Steven Syverud. He played piano in the NU jazz and contemporary music ensembles, both directed by Don Owens and continued piano study with Laurence Davis. While playing jazz piano in Chicago he was named a “musician deserving wider recognition” by Downbeat magazine. As a jazz pianist he has performed for thirty years throughout the United States and in Europe with many jazz greats including Greg Abate, Billy Hart, Bijoux Barbosa, Claudio Sloan, Kenny Wheeler, Jiggs Whigham, and many more. He has performed as a soloist with ensembles including the Ashland (OH) Symphony Orchestra, the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, the Lake Superior Chamber Orchestra, the University of Michigan Jazz Ensemble and the Northshore Concert Band; he has also played jazz aboard the legendary Delta Queen on the Mississippi river.

Mike has produced an extensive list of compositions and arrangements, over 150 works, mostly in the jazz idiom. He has received numerous awards including First Prize, New Music for Young Ensembles international composers competition for his Impromptu, Chorale & Fugue which included a Carnegie Hall premiere. He has received commissions from the Michigan Music Teachers Association; the Lake Superior Chamber Orchestra; WLS-TV Channel 7, Chicago; and high schools and colleges throughout the country. An invitee of the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop, his 2005 big band CD Pag’s Groove received airplay and critical acclaim throughout the United States and in Europe, earning a 5-star review in the Irish Times of Dublin. In 2010 Capri Records released The Michael Pagán Trio Three for the Ages featuring Bob Bowman on bass and Ray DeMarchi on drums; the album has garnered glowing reviews and been played across the United States and on NPR. His 12 Preludes and Fugues for saxphone quartet was recorded by the Colorado Saxophone Quartet and also released in 2010 on Tapestry Records, to outstanding reviews.

Pagán was recently named Jazz Artist In Residence at Missouri Valley College in Marshall, MO. He also directs the Lee's Summit High School Jazz Combo I. He has served as Director of Marketing and Communications at the American Jazz Museum and from 2005-2010 was Assistant Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Missouri Kansas City Conservatory. He has also served on the jazz faculty at the University of Colorado at Boulder, as Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Minnesota, Duluth, and at Olivet College. Dr. Pagán has also led a distinguished career as a jazz ensemble conductor and clinician. Under his directorship the UMKC Conservatory Concert Jazz Band was selected for performance at the 2009 Missouri Music Educators Association conference. He has directed district honor jazz ensembles in Missouri and one of the Colorado All-State jazz ensembles. He has also directed the Colorado Jazz Workshop Monday Night Band and the University of Colorado at Boulder Jazz Ensemble at an IAJE Conference. He writes big band music and frequently appears as an adjudicator at jazz festivals throughout the region. From 2007-2009 he served as Vice President of the Missouri Association for Jazz Education. Performing regularly at numerous venues in Kansas City as soloist and with his own trio, with vocalist Millie Edwards and with Greg Carroll’s Midnight Blue Jazz Quartet, he also writes for the Kansas City-based Jazz Ambassadors Magazine (JAM) and continues to play the bass as a secondary instrument (see E-Press Kit for short bio).

A partial list of people Michael Pagán has performed with:

Greg Abate
Craig Aiken
Erik Applegate
Fred Atwood
Tom Ball
Bijoux Barbosa
Gene Bass 
Queen Bay 
Charla Bevan
Ron Bland
Chuck Braman
Randy Brecker
Michael Brothers
Karen Burlingame
Gary Burton
Greg Carroll 
Teresa Carroll 
Walt Chambers
Rich Chiaraluce
Clare Church 
John Clayton 
Anthony Cox
Chris Crisanti 
Ron D’Ascenz 
Jimmy Damon 
Peter Dominguez 
Millie Edwards 
Robin Eubanks 
David Evans
John Fedchock

Ed Fedewa 
Camilla Formica 
Bob Fraser
Mark Frazier
Tom Garling 
Scott Garlock
Toni Gates
Randal Gelispie 
Greg Gisbert 
Brad Goode 
Dave Hagedorn 
Slide Hampton 
Greg Harris
Billy Hart 
Rusty Higgins 
John Hines
Milt Hinton 
Rick Holland 
Bill Hones 
Al Hood
Steve Houghton 
Javon Jackson 
Rusty Jones 
Bob Kase 
Joel Kaye 
Stan Kessler 
Roy King
Randy Knific
Tom Knific 
Darren Kramer 

Bill Larson 
Stephanie Laws
Mike Lee
Randy Lee 
Seth Lee
Pete Lewis
Paul Marchetti
Mike Marlier
Will Matthews
Eric McGregor 
Paul McKee 
Ken Morgan 
Dave Morgan 
Tom Myer 
Don Neal 
Lennie Niehaus 
Peter Olstad
Keith Oxman
Anne Pringle 
Victor Protodyakonov 
Garner Pruitt 
Martha Raye
Todd Reid 
Dave Rohlf  
Jim Roller 
Paul Romaine
Wallace Roney 
Bill Roth 
Tommy Ruskin
Glenn Schaft 
Erroll Schlabach 
Dave Schmalenberger
Larry Skinner 
Claudio Slon 
Kevin Smith 
Lew Soloff 
Michael Spadaro 
Gerald Spaits 
Marvin Stamm 
Michael Staron 
Hans Sturm 
Frank Tiberi 
Bobby Trujillo
Jimmy Trujillo 
Phil Urso 
Roy Valenti 
Louis Varro 
Steve Vecchi 
Ken Walker 
Doug Walter 
Skip Ward
Kenny Wheeler 
Jiggs Whiggham 
Teri Wilder 
Newman Williams 
Shirley Witherspoon