What do you call reality? Webster’s dictionary defines reality as “the fact or state of being real or genuine.” Mike Wade’s definition of reality is “to put God first for then my music is blessed, no matter what style, be it classical, gospel, jazz, hip-hop, or go go.” Mike Wade can blow his trumpet in hard bop style, hence his nickname “Shorty Bop”, and he can also play funky grooves that make you want to swing.
Mike Wade began playing trumpet in his pre teen years. While attending the Duke Ellington School of Arts in Washington, D.C., he received a National Symphony Fellowship to study with symphony trumpeters. He attended Howard University for one year before transferring to Central State University on full scholarship, where he received his bachelor’s in music education. He is no stranger to the titles of producer, composer, arranger, and educator. He is also the founder and leader of the Standard Time Quintet, Mike Wade & The Jazz Mafia, and the Mike Wade Reality Band
Mike is currently a band director with the Cincinnati Public Schools at Withrow High School and is a frequent performer at the Blue Wisp and other locations in the tri state area.
During his career he has been named one of the top ten unsigned jazz, brass players as rated by Jazziz Magazine (1997). His composition, “Blues for Shorty Bop”, was chosen for inclusion on Jazziz on Disc collection. He has performed and/or recorded with such artists as David “Fathead” Newman, Clark Terry, Javon Jackson, Bobby Watson, Gary Bartz, Mulgrew Miller, Rene Marie, Don Braden, Steve Wilson, Othello Molineaux, Vincent Herring, Jon Hendricks & Annie Ross, Winard & Phillip Harper, Antoine Roney, Herb Jeffries, Craig Bailey, Billy Hart, Marc Cary, Bill Lee, Ricky Wellman, Bootsy Collins, Reggie Calloway, Teddy Pendergrass, The O’Jays, Maurice, Freddie, and Verdine White (Earth, Wind and Fire), Tom Tom 84, and Experience Unlimited (E.U.). He has performed on Black Entertainment Television (BET) Jazz Discovery show, and WOSU Jazz Voices television series. With either his quartet or quintet he has performed at the Cincinnati Entertainment Awards show (2000), Cincinnati Cammy Awards show (1997), the Columbus Jazz and Rib Fest, the Charleston Jazz Festival, and the Frog Island Festival. Mike’s quintet, Standard Time, was the 1997 winner of the Cincinnati Cammy award for Best Small Jazz Group. With the Mike Wade Reality Band he has opened (2003) for the smooth jazz group BWB (Rick Braun, Kirk Whalum, Norman Brown). With the Famous American Trumpet Section (F.A.T.S.) he performed at the International Trumpet Guild Conference in Denver, CO (2004). With the Mike Wade Sextet he has opened (2005) for the renowned San Francisco Jazz Collective.
Mike has contributed his talent to the recordings of William Menefield-Big Will Leaps In (J Curve Records), Art Gore Quintet-Artwork, Cohesion Jazz Ensemble-A Journey’s Quest, Dixie Karas-Never Too Late, Cincinnati Jazz Collection Vol. 1,Vol. 2,and Vol. 3 Roots & Blues (J-Curve Records), and WVXU Christmas CD-X Star Jazz Christmas. His CD with Standard Time, Be Truthful, a disc of original straight ahead jazz compositions, showcases how fiercely he blows his horn and the soul, precision, and excitement of the quintet’s tight performances. His CD Reality is a blend of funky hip-hop, smooth jazz, R&B, and go go, taken from Mike’s D.C. roots. His latest release, The Broach Approach, features new arrangements of straight-ahead standards and original compositions.
Steve Wilson has said of Mike, “Mike Wade has secured his place among the legacy of great trumpeters…people get ready!” Mulgrew Miller has said of Mike, “Mike Wade is a very exciting and creative jazz trumpeter. He is also a very charismatic bandleader. He is dedicated and ambitious. It was a pleasure to play with him”. Craig Bailey has said of Mike, “Mike Wade is one the most inspiring musicians of the new millennium. He has the fire and energy that it takes to be a great leader as well as a great artist. His hustle ability on and off the horn will take him to many new horizons. He is a name not to forget, as well as a trumpet player not to miss.”