Mike Tomaro has been the Director of the Jazz Studies Program at the Mary Pappert School of Music at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA since 1997. He is an accomplished saxophonist, composer, arranger and educator. He earned his B.S. degree in Music Education from Duquesne University and his M.A. degree in Saxophone Performance from George Mason University in Fairfax, VA. For 17 years, he was a member of the Army Blues Jazz Ensemble, a unit of the prestigious “Pershing’s Own” U.S. Army Band. He served as its Enlisted Musical Director and performed for presidents and heads of state from around the world. Mike is a Yamaha Performing Artist and endorses Vandoren reeds, mouthpieces and ligatures exclusively.
As a performer, Mike has worked with such diverse artists and groups as Rosemary Clooney, Ray Charles, Michael Feinstein, Linda Ronstadt, Debby Boone, Johnny Mathis, Wayne Bergeron, Terence Blanchard, Louis Bellson, Terry Gibbs, Dizzy Gillespie Tribute Big Band, Woody Herman Orchestra and the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, where he is featured on their DVD, “Live at MCG.” Mike is the co-artistic director and lead alto player of the Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra, the city’s premier big band.
Mike has four nationally released recordings under his own name that showcase his talents as both performer and composer/arranger – “Dancing Eyes” (Seabreeze Jazz), “Home Again” (Positive Music), “Forgotten Dreams” (Seabreeze Jazz) and “Nightowl Suite” (Seabreeze Jazz). Additionally, Mike has also been featured on many other CDs as performer and/or arranger, most notably on Nancy Wilson’s last two Grammy Award winning releases, “Turned To Blue” and “RSVP,” the Bob Mintzer Big Band’s Grammy nominated release, “For The Moment,” Ann Hampton Callaway’s “The Hope Of Christmas,” New York Voices’, “A Day Like This,” Sheryl Bailey’s “A New Promise” and the 21st Century Swing Band’s “Pittsburgh Jazz Legacy,” all on the MCG Jazz label. On the last two releases, Mike is prominently featured as the main arranger as well as a soloist.
Mike’s music has been performed by many greats, including David Liebman, Wayne Bergeron, Ivan Lins, Claudio Roditi, Mike Stern, Ernie Watts, Bobby Shew, Randy Brecker, New York Voices, Al Vizzutti, as well as high schools, colleges and universities. His orchestral arrangements have been performed by the Pittsburgh and National Symphony Orchestras. He has over two hundred published compositions and arrangements. Additionally, Mike has co-authored the textbook “Instrumental Jazz Arranging: A Comprehensive and Practical Guide” (Hal Leonard Publications).
Mike is affiliated with the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers where he has received several ASCAP Plus awards, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS), Jazz Education Network (JEN) and the National Association for Music Education (NAfME). Mike is in great demand both nationally and internationally as a guest soloist, adjudicator, and clinician. For more information on his activities, visit his website at www.miketomaro.com.