Michael Mordecai is a Texas freelance trombone player who has recorded and performed with many musical greats including Maynard Ferguson, Thad Jones – Mel Lewis Band, Manhattan Transfer, Willie Nelson, Aretha Franklin, Carole King, Ray Charles and many more. He performs with and is a founding member of Austin based jazz bands Beto and the Fairlanes and John Mills Times Ten.
Mordecai was born in Denton, Texas and while still in high school, played with the North Texas State University Lab Bands. When the NTSU jazz program added a second summer lab band in 1966, One O’Clock Lab Band director Leon Breeden was short one trombone and recruited Mordecai from the high school band to fill out the section. Breeden then offered him a full scholarship upon his high school graduation, but Mordecai passed on the scholarship offer and chose to major in business at the University of Texas at Austin.
Mortdecai had grown up playing in bands with many of the great NTSU musicians, Tom “Bones” Malone, “Blue” Lew Marini and Sal Marquez, who went on to play with The Tonight Show, Saturday Night Live, David Letterman and star in the Blues Brothers movie. While at UT, Mordecai won best trombone soloist at the Notre Dame Jazz Festival and later was asked to join the horn section of the rock & roll band Zilker Sunday playing covers of Blood, Sweat & Tears and Chicago. Several of Mordecai’s influences at the time included Jim Pankow, JJ Johnson, Urbie Green and Bill Watrous.
Through his company, BBA / Management & Booking, Mordecai has booked jazz talent for the Elephant Room from its inception in 1991 and also books 25 restaurants from coast to coast with live jazz acts daily throughout the year. He is the contractor of pit orchestra musicians for The Paramount Theater, UT Bass Concert Hall, The Long Center, and ACL-Mood Theater and has produced several jazz records through his label, Fable Records.
Mordecai has served as President of The Austin Jazz Society and served on the Board of Directors of the Austin Federation of Musicians (musicians’ union), The Recording Academy (Grammy) and the Austin Music Commission. He has appeared as a guest artist / clinician / adjudicator with several colleges in Texas including The University of Texas, Texas Tech, Texas State and North Texas University.
A partial list of Mordecai’s recordings can be viewed at: www.allmusic.com listed under: Michael Mordecai and Michael Munday