Michael Stryker is the Director of the University of Illinois at Chicago Jazz Studies Program as well as Clinical Professor of Music, where he directs the UIC Jazz Ensemble and teaches Jazz Piano and Improvisation. Dr. Stryker is also on the faculty of the Birch Creek Summer Music Performance Center located in Egg Harbor, Wisconsin, teaching Jazz Piano, coaching Jazz Combos, and performing with the resident faculty big band. His doctoral studies at the Eastman School of Music were completed fall of 2009, with the degree awarded spring of 2010. Past degrees include a B.S. in Biology from Purdue University in 1985 and both the B.M. and M.M. in Jazz Performance from DePaul University in 1996. He was also certified to teach Kundalini Yoga in 2017. Previous teaching positions include Western Illinois University, Eastern Illinois University, DePaul University, and the University of California at Berkeley.
Dr. Stryker is co-leader of a jazz quintet called Condition Blue, whose first CD, Condition Blue Live, was released January of 2007. He can also be heard on Roots and Branches (Jazz Excursion Records, 2007) with the Shirantha Beddage Quartet. Led by drummer/composer Tom Marko, Dr. Stryker’s most recent recording is Into the Light (Summit Records, 2016), and features NYC veteran Scott Wenholdt on trumpet. He is fortunate to have worked with many masterful musicians, including Maria Schneider, Clark Terry, Frank Wess, Dave Douglas, Freddie Hubbard, Jim Snidero, Robin Eubanks, James Moody, John Fedchock, Kim Richmond, Clay Jenkins, Gary Foster, Bob Mintzer, Joshua Breakstone, and Carl Allen.