Michael Pagán is Associate Professor of Music and serves as Chair of the Music Department at Ottawa University. He received his Doctor of Music degree in composition from Northwestern University; his Master of Arts in composition and Bachelor of Music in Music Education were earned at Kent State University.
Dr. Pagán teaches courses in theory, composition, arranging and piano in classical and jazz contexts. He also directs the University’s vocal jazz ensemble, Bravo! He has performed as a jazz pianist for nearly forty years throughout the United States and in Europe with a long list of notable jazz musicians, has recorded ten CDs as a leader and appears as a sideman on numerous others.
While a graduate student at Kent State University, he won first prize in the New Music For Young Ensembles composer’s competition, which included a Carnegie Hall premiere. Doctoral work in composition at Northwestern followed, and soon Pagán was playing the jazz clubs of Chicago and was mentioned in Downbeat as a musician “deserving wider recognition.” He has also performed on the historic steamer Delta Queen on the Mississippi River. He performs regularly at numerous venues in Kansas City and surrounding regions, including a regular weekly solo piano engagement at Café Trio, where he is in his ninth year, and, since 2014, periodic appearances of the Mike Pagán Big Band.
He has held faculty positions at Olivet College, the University of Minnesota-Duluth, the University of Colorado at Boulder, and UMKC. Michael Pagán's recorded music appears on the Cadence, Capri, Dutch Music Partners, Tapestry and Artists Recording Collective labels and his music is published by Dutch Music Partners of The Netherlands and UNC Jazz Press.