Mike Cardozo ’08

Although I majored in biology at Wesleyan, I have been continuously and simultaneously immersed in my work as a musician from my college years until today.  I am grateful to have gained a well-rounded musical education at Wesleyan and to have learned from several deeply knowledgeable and inspirational professors, as well as to have been stimulated by working with numerous talented peers.

I spent several semesters working with Jay Hoggard '76 in the Jazz Orchestra. Besides deepening my appreciation for this particular language of music, Jay served as a model for true professionalism as he guided us through all the intangibles involved in preparation to bring our best performance to every opportunity we had. I bring the focused attitude he helped me develop to every performance and studio session, and I apply the specifics of arrangement and harmonic structures that I learned.

Anthony Braxton just loved music in a very pure way and showed me how deeply one can delve into music. I took his course  The Music of Coltrane, Mingus, and Tristano  and always remember to look deeper into anything I listen to, no matter how many times ‘'ve heard it, to find new principles that I can examine and build upon.

After studying jazz for many years, West African Drumming with Abraham Adzenyah was a transformative experience. Gaining comfort with a variety of complex Ghanaian rhythms really expanded my vocabulary, and that rhythmic mindset has a huge influence on my arrangement choices.

Being part of several senior thesis musical performances (Marlon Bishop '07, Nate Kaufman '08, Miles Turner '08, Nate Ash-Morgan '08) was inspirational as I appreciated the unique qualities of each composer and bandleader. Playing in some reggae and afro-beat bands with my classmates also directly influenced my arrangement and production style. I am honored to have worked with so many incredible peers and teachers, and every experience played a role in what I brought to the studio as a producer for Something Better.

Mike Cardozo '08 is a high school biology, chemistry and math teacher at tThe Academy at Charlemont in western Massachusetts. He is also an accomplished musician and has produced a new CD entitled Something Better, performed by the band Show of Cards (showofcards.com)