MA, Jazz Performance, New York University, 1996.
BA, Jazz Studies & Performance, McGill University, 1987.
"Music doesn't care what you look like, how old you are, what's between your legs, how you dress, or who you love. The only identity that matters in music is the character of the sound."
Mike Allen (MA, New York University, 1996) is a saxophonist, pianist, composer and bandleader whose body of work includes thousands of performances throughout Canada, the US and Europe over the past 30+ years.
Since founding his record label ALMUS JAZZ in 1990, Allen has produced and released 18 albums as a leader and recorded on another 25 as a sideman, including Michael Buble's Grammy Award winning Crazy Love. Allen's Dialectic (2003) won Outstanding Jazz Recording, Western Canadian Music Awards and his 2006 album Love One Another was named Canadian jazz album of the year by the Ottawa Citizen. 2019 saw the release of Just Like Magic, recorded at the iconic Van Gelder Studio in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. On it, he is joined by the incomparable rhythm section duo of Peter Washington-bass and Lewis Nash-drums.
As Director Of Jazz Studies at Western Washington University (2010-15), Allen successfully revitalized a program that had been in decline for decades, reconnecting it with the local community and regional high school music programs and driving enrolment to levels not seen since the 1980s.
His "mentoring" teaching model integrated professional jazz players with students in their ensembles, creating a vibrant learning environment that has since catapulted dozens of former students into professional performing careers in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.
As a composer, Allen's canon of work includes 100+ songs and tunes, with 80+ appearing on album recordings since 1990.
Allen is the Executive Director of Legacy Jazz Series Society, a B.C. non-profit organization that presents concerts and educational opportunities for young musicians.