Mike Allen Quartet (MAQ)
WWU Faculty Jazz Collective (FJC)
Western Washington University, Director of Jazz Studies
Capilano University, Instructor
Mike Allen was born in Toronto Canada in 1965, began his professional career in 1987 in Montreal, Canada and is profiled in the Miller Companion To Jazz In Canada. Mike has a Masters in Jazz from New York University and has performed and/or recorded with internationally recognized players including Cedar Walton, Julian Priester, Kenny Wheeler, Gary Bartz, Jim Snidero, Brian Lynch, Don Friedman, Don Thompson, John Ballantyne, Kevin Dean, Phil Dwyer, Chuck Israels, Donald Bailey, Ali Jackson, Seamus Blake, and Pete Magadini. Allen was a member of Canadian guitar legend Sonny Greenwich\'s quintet from 1990 to 1995 and his playing is featured on Greenwich\'s Standard Idioms (Kleo) and Fragments Of A Memory (Cornerstone). In 1993, Canada\'s national newspaper, The Globe and Mail listed Mike as one of a Six Interesting Canadians To Watch. Since then, he has been performing primarily on the West Coast, with several Canada-wide tours and regular features on nationally aired CBC radio broadcasts. His quartet album Love One Another was celebrated by the Ottawa Citizen as the #1 Canadian Jazz Album Of 2005, while his 2004 release Fearless was chosen by Public Radio International jazz host Jim Wilke, as one of the Best Pacific Northwest Jazz CDs of the year. Mike\'s 2003 trio album Dialectic was chosen Outstanding Jazz Recording of the year at the Western Canadian Music Awards. Mike has been awarded prestigious Canada Arts Council grants over the years to study with tenor giants Joe Henderson, Joe Lovano and David Liebman.
Mike\'s groups perform original material and standard repertoire with emphasis on lyricism, swing, and cohesive group interaction. Joe Henderson is often mentioned as a main tenor influence, while the music of John Coltrane\'s classic quartet is highly influential on Mike\'s group concept.