Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, saxophonist Mike Lee has established himself in the New York City/Northern New Jersey area for many years. He balances a thriving performing career with a distinguished teaching resume. He performs regularly in New York City as a member of a wide array of jazz ensembles. His recent associations include The Jimmy Heath Orchestra, The Dizzy Gillespie Orchestra, Wallace Roney’s Universe Orchestra, The Oliver Lake Big Band, The Loston Harris Trio, The Nat Adderley Jr. Quartet, Josh Evans Big Band, Dave Stryker, Frank Lacy, TS Monk, and The Roy Hargrove Big Band. He performs regularly at venues such as The Bluenote, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, Smalls, The Jazz Gallery, Fat Cat, and Bemelman’s Bar at the Carlyle Hotel. Recent tours have taken him up and down the East Coast, to Italy, France, California and Beijing, China.
Mike Lee is Professor of Jazz Saxophone at The John J. Cali School of Music at Montclair State University. In 2009, Lee helped found and develop Jazz House Kid’s in-house jazz education program. As the instructor of the first class (2009) at the Jazz House and Director of the JHK Summer Workshop (2010-2012) he oversaw the growth of the program from one class to a thriving jazz school. Mike’s private students have also excelled winning national awards from the Grammy Band, Next Generation Jazz Orchestra, Downbeat Magazine, and Young Arts. He has had several students go on to attend The Juilliard School, Berklee College of Music, Manhattan School of Music, William Paterson, Rutgers, Miami University, and Northwestern University. Lee has presented clinics and workshops throughout the country. Mr. Lee is endorsed by Conn-Selmer saxophones and Vandoren mouthpieces/reeds.
Lee’s musical accomplishments are shared and enjoyed by his musical family. Along with his wife, Violinist Rebecca Harris-Lee, they are raising three active young musicians. Their oldest son, saxophonist Julian, a graduate of The Juilliard School, has a thriving career in and around New York City having performed with ensembles including the Mingus Big Band, Wynton Marsalis Quintet, and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.