The proverbial kid in the music candy box, Mike Parkinson is an Educational Specialist for Bach trumpets (Conn-Selmer), a Clinician for Nottelmann Music, and Director of the Trinity Jazz Ensemble, an ecumenical group in Metro Kansas City. He has served as a performer, conductor, clinician, or adjudicator at schools, conferences, and festivals across the United States, Poland, and China. He has directed ensembles in performances for the College Band Directors National Association, the International Association for Jazz Education, the Electronic Music Plus Festival, the National Association for Music Education, and the Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio, and South Carolina Music Educators Association conferences. He is the author of “BASIE, BEBOP, BALLADS & BLUES,” a jazz ensemble repertoire guide, and “BEYOND THE BLUES,” a guide to score-part editing and rehearsal techniques. He presents workshops on ensemble techniques, improvisation, career development-entrepreneurship, and musicianship.
Mike most recently served as Director of the School of Music at Middle Tennessee State University and performed with the MTSU Jazztet on tours of China in 2017 and 2018. He previously served as music administrator at Ohio University and Webster University. His specializations include jazz studies, contemporary music, and music entrepreneurship. He held appointments at Case Western Reserve University, Furman University, and UMKC, where he served as Director of Jazz Studies and has been a radio broadcaster at stations in Tennessee, Ohio, and Missouri. Mike has performed with American jazz artists including Bob Brookmeyer, Bill Dobbins, Gary Foster, and Phil Woods, and Polish artists such as Marek Balata, Joachim Mencel, Janusz Muniak, and Dominik Wania. He has performed with groups such as the Paul DeMarinis Quartet, Jazz Spoken Here, Sweet Basil, and the Tennessee Jazz Collective and for shows with George Burns, Glen Campbell, Rosemary Clooney, and the Manhattan Transfer. He has recorded with harpist Michelle Himmell, the Spirit of Kansas City Orchestra, the St. Thomas Quartet, and Kirby Shaw. Mike founded the IMPROV Ensemble at MTSU and the Webster New Music Ensemble, and led student ensembles in concerts Society of Composers conferences. He has worked with composers including Robert Cooper, Donald Erb, Gay Holmes Spears, Mark Phillips and Paul Osterfield.
For ten years, Mike served as Director of the International Summer Jazz Academy in Poland, bringing American, Austrian, and Polish artists together with students from Europe and the United States. He was named Amicus Poloniae by the Republic of Poland and received the Jess Cole Award from the Missouri Jazz Educators Association. A Tennessee native, Mike is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati (DMA), Kent State University (MM), and the University of North Texas (BMEd). He studied trumpet with Frank Brown, John Haynie, Harry Herforth, and Marie Speziale; and conducting with Kelly Hale, Donald Hunsberger, David Kuehn, and Leopold Sipe. His primary influences are Bob Brookmeyer, Miles Davis, Charles Mingus, Bill Scarlett, Kenny Werner, and Kenny Wheeler.
Mike is a member of the Jazz Education Network, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Pi Kappa Lambda, the American Federation of Musicians, the Missouri Jazz Educators Association, Rotary International, the International Relations Council, and the United Methodist Church. He is a Sigma Alpha Iota Friend of the Arts and an honorary member of Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma. His interests include Formula 1 racing, reading, Polish studies, and casual bike riding. He is married to Charlene Hanson, a North Dakota native, who served as director of the Tennessee Philharmonic Orchestra Chorus and as director of music at churches in Kansas, Missouri, Ohio, North Dakota, and Tennessee. The parents of three grown children, the Parkinson family resides in Overland Park, Kansas.