American born Mike Rossi is Professor in Jazz and Woodwinds at the South African College of Music, University of Cape Town, South Africa. He regularly performs at jazz clubs, jazz festivals and conducts workshops and master-classes in Africa, Europe and the United States.
The Mike Rossi Project: Journey album was released in June 2018. It features a whirlwind tour of musical styles including Standards, Latin, Jazz-Rock, Swing, Modal, Blues and South African Jazz with some twists along the way. This follows two other CDs - The Mike Rossi Project: Take Another Five CD (dedicated to Dave Brubeck and Nelson Mandela) released in 2016 and The Mike Rossi Project: Trespassing Permitted released in 2013. This sextet performed at the JazzKif Jazz Festival in Kinshasa, DRC, at numerous jazz venues across Cape Town, Durban and Pretoria, at the 2013 Standard Bank National Youth Jazz Festival in Grahamstown, the 2014 Cape Town International Jazz Festival, and the 2014 Joy of Jazz Festival in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Four of his books on improvisation have been published by Advance Music, with translations in other languages. Advance Music and Schott Music have published a number of Rossi’s original compositions arranged for mixed ensemble.
Selected recording credits include The Mike Rossi Project: Take Another Five (SA), Recalled to Life: Chapter One - Steve Robinson (UK), In The Key Of Three – Marc Roffey (SA), So Far From Where We Began – Emilio Marinelli 4.0 Trio (SA/Italy), Interplay: Chamber Jazz (USA), Impronte Mediterranee (Italy), The Wam Trio – Summer Ballads, featuring Mike Rossi (Italy), The Mike Rossi Project – Trespassing Permitted, Two And Four/To And Fro, For Lydia and the Lion, and Before It’s Too Late with the Darius Brubeck Quartet, Conceptions: UCT Jazz 2010, Jazz und Elektronik - Live at the Baxter, Twenty Fabulous Fingers, Common Ground with pianist Micu Narunsky, and Two in One – Mike Rossi/Ulrich Suesse. His CD of original jazz compositions, Beauty and the Blues features jazz greats Rufus Reid, Tom McKinley and Billy Hart.
Rossi is the first recipient of the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Jazz Studies from the New England Conservatory of Music, Boston. Some of his performing and recording credits include appearances with David Liebman, Clark Terry, Joe Williams, Tony Bennett, Anthony Weller, Lou Rawls, Rob McConnell, Bill Prince, George Russell, Bill Watrous, Aretha Franklin, Rosemary Clooney, Alec Dankworth, Darius Brubeck, Jack van Poll, Hein van de Gyn, Winston Mankunku Ngozi, Barney Rachabane, Johnny Fourie and Carlo Mombelli, The Boston Big Band, The Artie Shaw Orchestra, The Mike Campbell Big Band and The African Jazz Pioneers.
Since 2011 Rossi has taught annually each summer at the Arcevia Jazz Feast in Marche, Italy.
Rossi served as President of SAJE (South African Association for Jazz Education) from 2012 to 2016, is a member of JEN (Jazz Education Network) and IASJ (International Association of Schools of Jazz).
He is a Rampone & Cazzani Saxophone Artist - makers of Hand Made Italian Saxophones performing on the R1 Soprano, R1 Jazz Saxello, R1 Jazz Altello, R1 Jazz Alto and R1 Jazz Tenor.
In 2018 he became a Knight of the Order of the Star of Italy (Cavaliere dell'Ordine della Stella d'Italia).