Leadership

Mike Vax

Big Band Director
Vax impressed the audience with his vividly colourful sound and beautifully lyrical phrasing.
Review from the First Annual West Chester University Trumpet Festival.
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Mike Vax is an International Artist for the Getzen Musical Instrument Company. He is also a Summit Records recording artist. Mr. Vax performs exclusively on Getzen trumpets, cornets and flugelhorns. He has played lead and solo trumpet with the Stan Kenton Orchestra, the Clark Terry Big Bad Band, and the U.S. Navy Show Band.

Mike has also performed and/or recorded with such greats as Art Pepper, Gene Krupa, Cab Calloway, Al Grey, Freddy Hubbard, John Handy, Don Ellis, Don Jacoby, Louie Bellson, Joe Williams, Anita O’Day, June Christy, Barbara McNair, the Four Freshmen, The Glenn Miller, Harry James, and Jimmy Dorsey Orchestras, the Beverly Hills Unlisted Jazz Band, and the Dukes of Dixieland in New Orleans.

He has appeared as guest lead trumpet and soloist with symphony pops orchestras around the United States, and in Europe, as well as the All-American Collegiate Orchestra at Disneyworld.

As a recording musician, he has performed on more than 75 albums, including 20 under his own name.

He is the founder and Chairman of the Board of Friends of Big Band Jazz, a 501c3 nonprofit corporation that has given over $60,000 in scholarships to jazz camps, funds to jazz programs in schools, donations to help musicians in need, and a donation to Habitat for Humanity for the Musicians Village in New Orleans. Mike is also founder and director of the Prescott Jazz Summit, an annual jazz festival in Prescott, Arizona.

Currently he is leading his own groups: The Stan Kenton Alumni Band, The Mike Vax Big Band, The Swing Shift Big Band in Prescott, Arizona, TRPTS (Trumpets), The Great American Jazz Band and the Mike Vax Quintet and Sextet.

Mike has done workshops and concerts in over 2500 high schools, colleges and universities all around the world over the past 42 years. He is very active as a clinician and soloist in both the classical and jazz idioms.