A veritable “Ambassador of Jazz,” Professor Michael Tracy is one of America’s foremost jazz educators, with more than forty years of performing and teaching experience. In classrooms, studios, and concert halls, he has developed a variety of innovative approaches to jazz education, enabling him to work with students of any proficiency. Tracy has taught and performed throughout the United States, Argentina, Australia, Belize, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Costa Rica,Denmark, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Poland, Republic of Georgia, Russia, Scotland, Singapore, and Wales. As a Fulbright Senior Specialist, he helped expand the jazz program at the Tbilisi State Conservatoire in Tbilisi, Georgia (2016) and helped to establish a jazz program at the Estonian Music Academy in Tallinn, Estonia (2004)International outreach is a major component of Professor Tracy’s activities. They include coordinating and hosting groups sponsored by the Open World Cultural Program, an organization that brought jazz musicians from Russia to the United States to interact with their American counterparts. In turn, he took jazz ensembles from the University of Louisville to perform at jazz festivals in numerous Russian locations. As coordinator for a FIPSE/CAPES grant, Tracy was responsible for organizing and overseeing student exchanges between the University of Louisville, the Universidade de Brasília and Universidade Estadual de Campinas. He also worked with CEC Arts Link, helping to provide artists from the Republic of Georgia and the Ukraine opportunities to experience jazz in America. Tracy has also been instrumental in establishing faculty and student exchanges and workshops with institutions in Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador,Japan, Poland, Republic of Georgia and Russia.
Professor Tracy is Director of the Jamey Aebersold Jazz Studies Program at the University of Louisville School of Music in Louisville, Kentucky, where his responsibilities include teaching saxophone, advising graduate and undergraduate students, and directing the annual Jazz Fest (formerly Jazz Week), which he founded in 1994. In addition to his duties at the University, he is a longtime faculty member of the widely renowned Jamey Aebersold Summer Jazz Workshops, where he has served for over forty years. Each summer he teaches combo, jazz theory, and saxophone master classes with the world’s leading jazz educators and as camp administrator is responsible for organizing and coordinating all educational programs and activities. He also founded the Louisville Jazz Workshop to offer high and middle school students the opportunity to experience improvisation and jazz performance. Tracy’s dedication to jazz education has not gone unnoticed. He is the recipient of several awards including recognition as a 2014 University of Louisville Alumni Fellow, the 2000 University of Louisville Distinguished Faculty Service Award, the 1999 Red Apple Award, and the 1996 School of Music Alumni Service Award. He is also a two time National Endowment for the Arts Award winner, and is a member of the 2000 Who’s Who in Executives and Professionals and 2005 Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers.