Born and raised in northeastern Pennsylvania, Mike Dobranski’s musical journey began playing the trombone in Mrs. O’Connell’s 5th Grade Band in elementary school. However, it wasn’t until his senior year in high school when he was so inspired by the incredible musicianship and chicken wing eating artistry of friend and mentor, John Stabinsky, that Mike was compelled to try a bass trombone on for size for the first time. Mike hasn’t wanted to play above the bass clef staff, since.
Mike has been fortunate to enjoy a diverse and rewarding career as a musician…well…bass trombonist. Mike has had the privilege of performing with such artists as Aretha Franklin, Andrea Bocelli, Barbra Streisand, Jerry Lewis, Vinnie Falcone, Tommy Tune and the Manhattan Rhythm Kings, Regis Philbin, Grant Griffin, Bobby Shew, Louis Bellson, Chris Botti, and Idina Menzel. Mike was also a full time musician with the Las Vegas productions of The Producers and Disney’s The Lion King. During his 9-year stay in the desert, Mike also served as the bass trombonist with the Las Vegas Jazz Connection, where he can be heard on the band’s first three albums.
Mike has also had performances with such ensembles as the Northwest Sinfonia, Seattle Symphony, Spokane Symphony, Tacoma Symphony, Lake Chelan Bach Fest Festival Orchestra, Utah Symphony, Utah Opera, Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, Colgate Symphony, Catskill Symphony, Carousel Cities Ballet Orchestra, Las Vegas Philharmonic, Phantom – The Las Vegas Spectacular, and the Chautauqua Institution Music School Festival Orchestra. As a studio musician, Mike has done session work for The Walt Disney Co., Macy’s, Donny and Marie Osmond, Matt Dusk, Trey Anastasio, and The O’Jays. He can also be heard on dozens of scores for film, video games, and television.
Alongside his performing career, Mike has held private teaching studios in New York, Nevada, and is excited to now be teaching in the beautiful Puget Sound area. In addition to his private teaching, Mike has also given and participated in clinics in K-12 schools, colleges, and conferences throughout the United States. Mike has served as an adjudicator for the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) and has also taught private lessons and lecture classes as a Part-Time Instructor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Mike received his Bachelor degree in Music Performance from Ithaca College. His principal teachers include Dr. Hal Reynolds, Fred Boyd, and Bruce Paulson and he has had additional studies with Larry Zalkind, Hal Janks, and Joseph Alessi. Additional influences on Mike’s musicianship include industrial woodworking equipment, freight trains, and several arena rock bands of the 1980s.
When he’s not irritating his neighbors in the greater Seattle area with long tones and lip flexibility exercises, Mike enjoys tinkering around in the kitchen, hanging out with people that put up with him, and watching mind-numbing amounts of television and movies. His primary duty in life is to serve at the pleasure of his lovely, patient, understanding, and extraordinarily supportive wife, Kerry.
P.S – Go Hawks!