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Mike Conrad is a composer, improviser, and teacher from Iowa. His arrangements and compositions have earned him four ASCAP Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Awards and seven DownBeat Awards, in addition to many other accolades and commissions. Conrad’s music has been performed all around the world, including a 2017 concert by the Metropole Orkest in the Netherlands and an ambitious 2019 project with Stegreif Orchester of Berlin. Through projects like COLOSSUS, the All Angles Orchestra, and the Iowa Jazz Composers Orchestra, Mike Conrad continues to come up with fresh and exciting works for a variety of ensembles.
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 octet premiere, and a string quartet performance at the US Presidential Inauguration in 2013. Some recent career highlights include winning 2nd Prize in the “Spheres Of A Genius” composition competition through the Vienna Radio Symphony, collaborating on an hour-long recomposition of Beethoven’s 3rd Symphony with the incredibly creative Stegreif Orchester of Berlin, and winning an Iowa Arts Council grant to compose, premiere, and record a four-part suite for the Iowa Jazz Composers Orchestra, a group he founded in 2019.
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, from jazz trio projects to large ensembles like COLOSSUS and the All Angles Orchestra, the latter of which released an album of original music featuring Alex Sipiagin in 2017. Mike Conrad regularly performs regionally with Chris Merz’s Quartet, the Bob Washut ‘Emeritet,’ the Max Wellman Big Band, and several other groups, and has performed and recorded with musicians such as Louis Hayes, Alexa Tarantino, and Dave Chisholm. 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. Many of his compositions and arrangements are published by iJazzMusic, UNC Jazz Press, ejazzlines, and his own website, www.mconradmusic.com.
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.
"Colossus" by Colossus, 2013 ( https://colossusjazz.bandcamp.com/ )
"New Angle" by All Angles Orchestra, 2017 ( https://allanglesorchestra.bandcamp.com/album/new-angle-2
"Fertile Soil Suite" by Iowa Jazz Composers Orchestra, 2021 ( https://www.iowajazzcomposersorchestra.com/ )