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Michael Pagán

Michael Pagán is a jazz pianist, composer/arranger and educator who lives in the Kansas City area. He has released a number of critically acclaimed recordings and produced an extensive list of compositions and arrangements, mostly in the jazz idiom.

Since 2009 he has played solo piano every Tuesday night at the popular Cafe Trio in Kansas City. he also plays regularly at the Majestic, another mainstay jazz venue of Kansas City.

Michael Pagán's jazz playing has been described on numerous occasions as elegant (Westword, Denver; Plastic Sax, Kansas City; Jazz Society of Oregon). As a pianist KCConfidential described him as "brilliant and intense."

Pagán also leads an 18 piece big band under his own name that performs in the Kansas City region. The group mainly performs his compositions and arrangements as well as those of other members of the ensemble. In 2005 his big band CD "Pag's Groove" won unanimous critical praise in the U.S. and Europe.

Pagán has taught at Ottawa University in Ottawa, Kansas, the University of Missouri-Columbia, the University of Missouri-Kansas City, the University of Colorado at Boulder, the University of Minnesota-Duluth, and Olivet College. He has also served as Director of Marketing and Communications at the American Jazz Museum. He earned graduate degrees in music composition from Kent State University and Northwestern.

His recordings appear on the Cadence, Capri, Tapestry, Dutch Music Partners, and ARC labels and a number of his works are published by Dutch Music Partners of The Netherlands. He continues to play the bass as a secondary instrument.


Articles: Michael Pagán Crosses the Line Ronald E. Grames, Fanfare Magazine Vol. 34 No. 6 Cover/Feature Story Roger Atkinson, Kansas City Jazz Ambassadors Magazine Awards: Certificate of Appreciation, Missouri Music Educators Association Conference- Certificate of Appreciation, Colorado Vocal Jazz Society- CD "Pag’s Groove" listed among: Top Ten Big Band recordings of 2005 by allaboutjazz.com Top Twenty Jazz Recordings of 2005 by CHUO FM 89 Ottawa, Ontario Top Twenty big band CDs of 2005 KBEM FM 88.5 Minneapolis, MN- Invitee, BMI Jazz Composers Workshop, NY, NY Outstanding Service Award International Association for Jazz Education- Distinguished Service for Presentation Minnesota Music Educators Association- Musician Deserving Wider Recognition Downbeat Magazine- First Prize, New Music For Young Ensembles Composers Competition, NY


Album Review
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On Twelve Preludes and Fugues for Saxophone Quartet: "Michael Pagán’s Twelve Preludes and Fugues for Saxophone Quartet is a monumental addition to the saxophone quartet literature. A substantial, creative and compelling work; I believe that listeners and performers alike will find its blend of classical and jazz styles stimulating and profoundly rewarding.” Tim Timmons, Professor of Saxophone University of Missouri Kansas City

“Pagán’s mastery of contrapuntal sophistication is on full display here...by far, the most swinging chamber music I’ve ever heard.” Wayne E. Goins, Jazz Ambassador Magazine

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Primary Instrument


Willing to teach

Advanced only


Director of Jazz Studies, Olivet College; University of Minnesota Duluth; Interim Director of Jazz Studies, University of Colorado at Boulder; Assistant Director of Jazz Studies, University of Missouri Kansas City; Adjunct Professor of Jazz Piano, Ottawa University: Jazz Piano, Piano, Theory, Jazz Theory, Arranging, Composition, Combo, Director, BRAVO! (Jazz Singers)

Clinic/Workshop Information

Available for clinics on any jazz topic, including improvisation, performance, big band, combo, composition, arranging, history and pedagogy.


Album Discography

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson


ARC - Artists Recording Collective


The Ottawa Sessions

ARC - Artists Recording Collective


Keyboard Christmas

ARC - Artists Recording Collective


Three for the Ages

Capri Records


Twelve Preludes &...

Tapestry Records



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