Originally from Nova Scotia, saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist Mike Wark moved to Toronto where he received his B. Mus. and Diploma in Jazz Studies from Humber College. He has studied with Canadian and international saxophone greats like Pat LaBarbera, Kirk MacDonald, Kelly Jefferson, as well as former T.S.O. flautist Virginia Markson. While at Humber he received awards in performing, jazz pedagogy, and arranging/composing categories; and, had the opportunity to perform with world-renowned musicians such as Randy Brecker, Hilario Duran, Jane Bunnett, Steve Gadd, Vince Mendoza and Dave Liebman.
As a versatile musician, Mike has worked with Nova Sinfonia, Luis Mario Ochoa and Cimarron, NOJO, The Toronto Jazz Orchestra, songwriter Alejandro Escovedo, Persian/pop legend Sattar, and children’s entertainer-musician Fred Penner. He has performed throughout Canada, United States, and Cuba, in bars and clubs, theatres, and in a variety of international jazz, blues, and world music festivals. He has performed in pit orchestras for CatsMainstage Theatre Company (“Urinetown”), and Scarborough Music Theatre (“Kiss of The Spider Woman,” “Oklahoma!,” and “Gypsy”), and can be heard on JazzFM, BravoFACT, CBC Radio Live, TV jingles, and several albums in a variety of musical styles.
Mike currently keeps busy composing and arranging music, teaching, performing with a variety of ensembles, and is currently pursuing his Master’s of Music at University of Toronto.