BIOGRAPHY

Saxophonist, woodwind doubler, composer/arranger, and music educator Mike Wark received his B.Mus. (Jazz Studies) from Thompson Rivers University via Humber College, and M.Mus. (Jazz Performance) from University of Toronto.  He has studied saxophone with Don Palmer, Mark Promane, Kelly Jefferson, Pat LaBarbera, Kirk MacDonald, Mike Murley, flute studies with former T.S.O. flautist Virginia Markson, and improvisation with international saxophonist/jazz pedagogue Dave Liebman.  

As a versatile musician on the Toronto scene, Mike has worked in orchestra settings with the likes of Nova Sinfonia, Casa Loma Orchestra, and a variety of pit orchestras (including Shaw Festival Theatre), in Jazz ensembles such as NOJO, Toronto Jazz Orchestra, and the Chris Hunt Tentet, with Latin-Jazz artists such as Jane Bunnett, Luis Mario Ochoa and Cimarron, and Gary Morgan’s PanAmericana Ensemble, and in horn sections backing up radio-personality Danny Marks and bluesman Jack De Keyzer.  From small jazz clubs, to high-energy Top 40/wedding bands, to working with celebrities like Children’s Entertainer Fred Penner and actor/musical personality Hugh Jackman. He has shared the stage with jazz greats Don Thompson, Randy Brecker, Steve Gadd, Dave Liebman, Ralph Alessi, and Vince Mendoza, and can be heard on CBC Radio Live, jingles, film soundtracks, and numerous albums.
 

On top of being an active performing, Mike is also a busy educator and has always been focused on contributing to music education. Wanting to give back to the music programs that helped get him and countless others started, Mike and fellow colleague, Klaus Anselm, sat down in 2016 and together co-founded the music-education organization The Bandaids.  The focus being on delivering workshops, clinics, private lesson programs and interactive educational-performances to elementary and secondary students throughout southern Ontario.  In 2020, The Bandaids partnered with Clovertone Music (a Canadian-based music publishing company) to join the initiative Musicians Helping Music Teachers.  Through leveraging combined resources, skillsets, and contacts in the music industry and music education scenes, MHMT has created a comprehensive program of virtual/online services and resources for schools and music teachers while enduring the era of Covid-19 we are in.