Michael Pagán is Associate Professor of Music at the Ottawa, Kansas, campus and was chair of the Music Department from 2016-19. He received his Doctor of Music degree in composition from Northwestern University, and at Kent State University he earned his Master of Arts in composition and Bachelor of Music in Music Education. Dr. Pagán teaches courses in theory, composition, arranging, and piano in jazz and classical contexts. He also directs the University’s award-winning vocal jazz ensemble, Bravo!
He has performed as a jazz pianist for over 40 years throughout the United States and in Europe with a long list of notable jazz musicians and has appeared on 25 CD’s as a leader or supporting artist. While a graduate student, Pagán won first prize in the New Music For Young Ensembles composer’s competition, which included a Carnegie Hall premiere. He was also mentioned in Downbeat magazine as a musician “deserving wider recognition.” He appears regularly at numerous venues in Kansas City and the surrounding regions, including a regular solo piano engagement at Café Trio, where he has played weekly since 2009.
Michael has held faculty positions at Olivet College, the University of Minnesota-Duluth, the University of Colorado at Boulder, and University of Missouri-Kansas City. His music appears on the Cadence, Capri, Dutch Music Partners, Tapestry, and Artists Recording Collective record labels and is published by Dutch Music Partners of The Netherlands and UNC Jazz Press.