Born in Syracuse, New York; Mike discovered music at the age of 9. Originally a drummer, he soon switched to the alto saxophone, and eventually found his voice on that instrument. While in his teens Mike performed with various local groups, big bands and played sax and jazz piano in his high school bands and ensembles.
Following high school Mike attended The University of North Texas and played lead alto sax in the award winning Two O’clock Lab Band. After graduating from UNT with a Bachelor of Music Education, he moved to New York City to attend the Manhattan School of Music and pursue a freelance music career. While at the Manhattan School he played lead alto in the Jazz Orchestra performing with such jazz legends as Jon Hendrix, Sir Roland Hanna, Michael Brecker, Joe Lovano, and Frank Foster. Mike received a Master of Music in Jazz/Commercial Music from MSM in 1997. Furthermore, he was recently awarded the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Eastman School of Music.
From 1998-2003, Mike toured the world with Maynard Ferguson's Big Bop Nouveau Band serving as a featured soloist and music director (2002-03). In the summer of 2006 he was asked back by Mr. Ferguson to join him on a tour that culminated at the famed Blue Note jazz club in NYC. Shortly thereafter Mike joined Maynard in studio and recorded what would the trumpet legend's final studio recording: “The One And Only".
Mike has performed in over 20 countries including England, Thailand, Germany, Azerbaijan, Israel, Australia, Russia and Sweden. In addition, he has shared the stage with Aretha Franklin, Phil Woods, The Spinners, The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Tim Ries, Slide Hampton, Rufus Reid, and The Temptations. He has also recorded with Phil Ramone, Michael Feinstien, Bobby Shew, Wayne Bergeron and Dianne Schuur.
Trumpet legend Maynard Ferguson describes Mike as a “creative and engaging jazz soloist, whose playing is first rate". Noted author, and Jazz Times contributing columnist Ira Gitler calls Mike's saxophone playing "exploratory". Furthermore, Scott Yannow; author of ten jazz books describes him as “A swinging alto-saxophonist with a beautiful tone".
Mike’s musical influences include Joe Henderson, Cannonball Adderley, Jaco Pastorius and César Franck.
His saxophone teachers have included Jerry Santy, James Riggs, Dick Oatts, Ramon Ricker, Walt Weiskopf, Ralph Lalama, and Steve Slagle . Mike’s arrangements and compositions have been performed by Maynard Ferguson, jazz pianist Billy Childs and The Eastman School of Music Jazz Ensemble.
His product endorsements have included: Cannonball Saxophones, AMT Microphones and Bari Mouthpieces.
In 2009, Mike released his first CD as a leader entitled Drive Time (Jazzed Media). In March 09, the CD entered the national charts by breaking into the top 40 on JazzWeek.com.
He is currently on faculty at Syracuse University and SUNY Broome Community College.