Home » Jazz Musicians » Michael Cox

Michael Cox

Though well regarded as a professor with full academic training, Michael’s path to full time musical occupation began more informally, more or less at “street level.” He was active in school music programs and in the ’70s he began playing paying gigs when he was 15 under the supervision of his older brother Danny. Since then he has spent most days of every week practicing, studying, rehearsing, listening, teaching, playing gigs and concerts, or recording music. Michael’s educational achievements include independent studies with jazz luminaries Joe Lovano and David Liebman, mentoring with IAJE Hall of Fame educator Gene Aitken, concentrated study with saxophone professors Roger Greenberg and Jean Lansing, a Doctor of Arts degree in Saxophone Performance and Jazz Pedagogy from the University of Northern Colorado, a Master’s degree in Music Performance from Wichita State University, and a Bachelor’s degree from Cameron University in his home town of Lawton, Oklahoma. In the year 2000, Cameron University honored Dr. Cox with one of its three Alumni of the year awards, reflecting his commitment to academic tradition as well as his artistic pursuit of music as a performance art.

In addition to the CJO, Michael has maintained a continuous schedule as a freelance saxophone and woodwind soloist and performer. In Ohio you may have seen him in the Columbus and Lancaster Symphonies, the Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra or such groups as Brasileira, the Science Gravy Orchestra, Magically Delicious, the High Street Stompers, Too Far North, the Powerhouse Trio, or more recently System Theory, Still Motion and the Black Swamp Saxophone Quartet. Though he has eschewed “going on the road” in the classic sense, he has had the opportunity to play, on singular or special occasions, with groups such as the Count Basie Orchestra, rock artist Don Henley, and others too numerous to mention. In 1999 Michael released the highly acclaimed recording Abstractions, Dedications and Red Dirt featuring Matt Wilson on drums and the late Dennis Irwin on bass, recorded at Systems 2 Studios in New York. Current recording projects include a new jazz CD and a CD of French classical chamber music by Pierre Max Dubois.


Live Review

Michael Cox & Pete Mills at Columbus Museum of Art

Read "Michael Cox & Pete Mills at Columbus Museum of Art" reviewed by Mark Corroto

Michael Cox & Pete Mills Columbus Museum of Art Jazz Master Sessions Columbus, OH February 2, 2019 After a week of subzero temperatures, the fierce winter relented for an afternoon. Was the polar vortex's exodus precipitated by an old fashioned saxophone cutting contest? Some in attendance would say, absolutely. Enter the tenor saxophonists Michael Cox and Pete Mills and their recreation of the recording Boss Tenors: Straight Ahead from Chicago ...

Album Review

Michael Cox: Compassion

Read "Compassion" reviewed by Mark Corroto

Compassion by saxophonist Michael Cox evokes thoughts of sausages. Specifically, how they're made and for what purpose. Think about it, have you ever had an unforgettable hot dog? No. Even if you ate one at the World Series, you could never call it memorable. That wasn't its objective. So, let's talk of cured meats. The luxury of prosciutto, pancetta, coppa, or culatello is indelible. The same thought may come when Cox records a session with drummer Matt Wilson ...

Read more articles


Jazz Arts Group PBJ & Jazz Season Finale with Michael Cox - March 10

Jazz Arts Group PBJ & Jazz Season Finale with Michael Cox - March 10

Source: Michael Ricci

Columbus, OH The Jazz Arts Group of Columbus (JAG) and Bob Evans Farms present the PBJ & Jazz season finale featuring Columbus Jazz Orchestra saxophonist Michael Cox at the Lincoln Theatre ballroom on March 10, 2012. Due to popular demand, this year's season has been expanded to include two performance times per concert, beginning at 10:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Michael Cox joined the Columbus Jazz Orchestra in 1991 after moving to Columbus to teach full time as Professor of ...



Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson


Cojazz Recordings



Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.