Westchester Jazz Orchestra
From 2007 – 2013 Mike served as Artistic Director/Conductor of the Westchester Jazz Orchestra (WJO), a non-profit organization based in Westchester County. During his tenure he commissioned over 140 new works for jazz orchestra, making the organization one of the leading producers of new jazz works. With an ensemble made up of first-call NYC musicians, the group performed newly commissioned works each concert season at their home theater, the Irvington Town Hall, with WBGO's Gary Walker serving as the regular host. Mike wrote and conducted for several guest artists, including Joe Lovano, Kate McGarry, Janis Siegal, John Scofield, John Patitucci, Randy Brecker, and Paquito D’Rivera. The orchestra was critically acclaimed by The New York Times, Down Beat Magazine, and JazzTimes, and was a runner up for the JazzTimes "Best Big Band" readers' poll in 2011. WJO’s recording Maiden Voyage Suite, a reworking of the Herbie Hancock masterpiece, was on multiple best-of lists after its release in 2011, with Downbeat Magazine calling it “nearly perfect.”
HR Big Band (Frankfurt)
Mike served as Associate Guest Conductor of the HR Big Band (Hessischer Rundfunk - Frankfurt, Germany) from 2011-2015. Projects included writing and conducting concert length projects for Kurt Rosenwinkel (2013;2015) , Dr. Lonnie Smith (2015), Miguel Zenon (2012), and Jazz From Hell, a suite based on the works of Frank Zappa performed at the Frankfurt Jazz Festival (2015). Other projects include conducting a concert featuring drummer Billy Cobham (2012), arrangements for a Rheingau Festival concert featuring Jane Monheit (2012), a concert featuring a reading of the works of the Brothers Grimm set to music (2013), a concert titled Euro Jazz with Carlo Nardozza, Johannes Müller, Pierre-Alain Guoalch, and Pascal Schumacher (2014), and a concert titled Inner Voices featuring Mike's original compositions and arrangments (2012).