Mike Conrad is a composer, improviser, and teacher from Iowa. He has been recognized for his arranging and composing with four ASCAP Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Awards and seven DownBeat Awards, as well as awards and commissions from the Contemporary Music Academy in Beijing, the Bundesjazzorchester of Germany, the West Point Army Jazz Knights, and many other organizations. Conrad’s music has been performed all over the world, including a 2017 concert by the Metropole Orkest in the Netherlands, a 2014 Carnegie Hall Premiere, and a performance at the US Presidential Inauguration in 2013.
As a performer, he has toured China, played at the Umbria Jazz Festival in Perugia, Italy, and appeared at various jazz festivals and venues all over the United States. Aside from his own projects like the All Angles Orchestra, the Mike Conrad Trio, and the coled big band COLOSSUS, Conrad has enjoyed playing and/or recording with Alexa Tarantino, Dave Chisholm, the David Caffey Jazz Orchestra, the Bob Washut Dodectet, Christopher’s Very Happy. Band., and many other groups. Equally accomplished on both trombone and piano, Conrad truly loves collaborating with other musicians, and always brings his creativity and expressiveness to everything he does. Some of his more recent projects include a reimagination of Beethoven’s 3rd symphony in collaboration with the Berlin-based Stegreif Orchester, and a suite of four Iowa-inspired big band pieces for the Iowa Jazz Composers Orchestra, which he founded.
Dr. Conrad earned degrees from the University Northern Iowa (BM and BME), the Eastman School of Music (MM), and the University of Northern Colorado (DA). He is currently serving as Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies & Music Education at the University of Northern Iowa, where he directs Jazz Band Two and teaches courses/ lessons in Jazz Improvisation, Jazz Pedagogy, Jazz Methods, Jazz Theory, Jazz Piano, Jazz Composition, and Jazz Arranging. Conrad is in high demand as a clinician and guest director for jazz bands, and he continues to come up with fresh and exciting works for a wide variety of ensembles.