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Mike Marlier is in his 16th year as the Director of Drum Set Studies at Lamont. He started playing drums at the age of 5, and hasn't stopped. A lifetime in music was established from the day he was born, as he was immersed in the jazz records his father played both at home, and on the radio station he worked at. Growing up in Sandusky, Ohio, he started playing in the school band program in the 4th grade, and also began studying the string bass with Lawrence Angel from the Cleveland Symphony. He won the Louis Armstrong Excellence in Jazz award his senior year in high school, and attended the prestigious Interlochen Arts Academy in 1975, where he played with Bob Hope, Maynard Ferguson, and Benny Goodman. He was offered scholarships to the University of Tennessee in both percussion and string bass. After completing his studies at Bowling Green State University, he moved to Denver in 1981.
Mr Marlier has performed and recorded with countless professional artists, including Dave Grusin, Benny Golson, Nelson Rangell, Dotsero, Rob Mullins, the Neophonic Jazz Orchestra, and is the staff drummer for the Conference on World Affairs, which is held annually at CU. He is a Dream Cymbal artist/clinician, and was the featured drummer for the Buddy Rich Memorial concert presented by the Gift of Jazz in 2009. His drumming can also be heard on many national radio and television commercials for First Bank, Safeway, Colorado Lottery, and Channel 7 news. He is also the staff drummer at the Mile Hi Church, and was the featured artist and clinician at a "Gospel Chops" drumming seminar in Taipai, Taiwan in January.
As a teacher, he strives to share his vast playing experience with his students, creating a curriculum that is engaging and diverse. He can also be found adjudicating jazz festivals all across the nation. Mike has two daughters, Britt and Milena, and a grandson, Rilan.