Mike Hunter is a retired director of Northwestern Michigan College’s Jazz Ensembles, which include the Jazz Big Band, Jazz Lab Band, and Vocal Jazz Ensemble. He was also the instructor of trombone and euphonium at Northwestern Music College and taught the MIDI Basics, Theory, and Sound Engineers classes, which were part of NMC’s Audio Technology degree. He is currently a working professional performer and composer/arranger, as well as an Apple Certified trainer for Logic Pro 9. He was an instructor at NMC from 1991 until his retirement in July, 2014.
Hunter is a graduate of Central Michigan University’s School of Music, having earned a bachelor’s degree in music composition. He was also a trombone student of William H. Rivard, who was a music major in the renowned jazz program of North Texas State University (now University of North Texas).
Hunter works as a freelance arranger, composer, music copyist, and recordist from his studio in Traverse City. He is the arranger, trombonist, and bandleader for Traverse City’s annual Rotary Show. His other teaching duties include leading clinics and master classes, directing the high school/middle school jazz band at the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, teaching as a low brass instructor for beginners with the Grand Traverse Area Catholic Schools, and teaching private lessons on low brass and trumpet.
Hunter plays professionally with jazz combos, big bands, and chamber groups throughout Michigan, including the Blue Lake Fine Arts Faculty Jazz Sextet. He was also the trombonist and arranger for the popular Traverse City based R & B blues, soul, and swing band, Luther Gravey and the Soul Biscuits. Currently, he is the lead trombonist with the Bay Area Big Band, and has also been featured in the “Artist in Residence” series at Saginaw Valley State University.
Throughout his career, he has backed national artists such as Mel Torme, Frank Sinatra Jr., Gladys Knight, the Temptations, the Four Tops, Eddie Kendricks (on the LP Slick), Bob Newhart, Jerry Lewis, Bobby Vinton, and Wayne Newton. He can be heard on recordings featured with guitarist Steve Little and with Luther Gravey and the Soul Biscuits.