Mike Smith – Saxophone
That same year, he moved to Chicago. He toured with the Maynard Ferguson and Buddy Rich bands in the early 80s. While he was with Buddy Rich, he toured with Frank Sinatra. Since 1981, he has worked for both Frank Sinatra and Frank Sinatra Jr. as featured saxophonist and music contractor. In 1985, he won a National Endowment for the Arts award. In 1993, he won the Cannonball Adderley Award for alto saxophone. He has recorded and performed with Tony Bennett, Harry Connick, Jr., Nancy Wilson, Art Farmer and Nat Adderley. Mike has had a weekly spot at Andy’s Jazz Club in Chicago for over thirty years. Currently, he is professor of saxophone at Roosevelt University, Chicago College of Performing Arts. In addition, he is a clinician and performing artist for Silver Eagle Saxophones and Rico Reeds. Mike was on the design team for the Verne Q. Powell Group. Working with Chris French and John Weir they were building and producing an American made saxophone in Elkhart, Indiana. This high end professional instrument was called “The Silver Eagle” by Verne Q,Powell. It is no longer in production.