Mike Titlebaum (b. 1968, Rochester, N.Y.) is a saxophonist, composer, arranger and director of jazz studies at the Ithaca College School of Music, a position he has held since 2008.
Mr. Titlebaum earned his BM in saxophone performance, MM in jazz and contemporary media, and the Performer's Certificate from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester. He has studied with teachers such as Rayburn Wright, Ramon Ricker, Fred Sturm, Bill Dobbins, Russell Schmidt, Rich Thompson, Manny Albam, Samuel Adler, Al Regni, Elizabeth Marvin, and many others. As a student, he won nine "DeeBee" awards from DownBeat magazine in multiple categories, including Jazz Performance (on both saxophone and trumpet), Classical Performance, Jazz Arranging, and Jazz Composition.
Titlebaum directs the Ithaca College Jazz Ensemble and teaches jazz saxophone, standards, repertoire, arranging, theory and history. He is the founding member of the Ithaca Jazz Quartet and the creator of the annual Ithaca College Jazz Ensemble Composition Contest.
Titlebaum has recently completed guest artist residencies at the University of Minnesota, James Madison University (VA) and Mount Allison University (New Brunswick, Canada). He has delivered jazz clinics and performances at numerous conferences, including JEN (Jazz Education Network), ISIM (International Society of Improvised Music), NYSSMA (New York State School Music Association), NYSBDA (New York State Band Directors Association) and TMEA (Texas Music Educators Association).
Titlebaum has performed with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, the Binghamton Philharmonic Orchestra, and with dozens of internationally recognized artists and groups. He spent 15 years living in the New York City region where he enjoyed a very diverse career, playing in many world famous musical venues such as the Blue Note, Smalls, Augies, Fez/Time Café, the Knitting Factory, CBGB's, and in the pit orchestra of the Broadway musical Cats.
Mr. Titlebaum is the author of the book Jazz Improvisation Using Simple Melodic Embellishment (Routledge/Taylor and Francis, 2021). He is simultaneously releasing a series of free instructional videos to help introduce the techniques from the book. He is also the co-editor of Teaching School Jazz: Perspectives, Principles and Strategies (Oxford University Press, 2019).
Works for Winds
- And It Happened (2013)
- Four, Five and a Little Seven (1991)
- Lifelong Adventure (2021)
- Raise Nine (1995)
- Ithaca College Jazz Ensemble concert program, 4 May 2014
- Michael Titlebaum, Ithaca College Accessed 4 April 2017
- Mike Titlebaum, personal correspondence, November 2021