Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians
Fahn, Mike (Michael Jeff)
Fahn, Mike (Michael Jeff), valve trombonist; b. Queens, NY, 16 December 1960. He grew up in Huntington, Long Island. His father, a jazz drummer and a big fan of valve trombone giant Bob Brookmeyer gave Mike a valve trombone at 11, after the young man had spent four years on trumpet and then baritone horn. Influenced more by trumpeters Freddie Hubbard, Woody Shaw, and especially Tom Harrell, Mike began to take inspiration from great trombonists like J.J. Johnson, Frank Rosolino, Brookmeyer, Bill Watrous and others after taking up the slide trombone a little later on.
Primarily a self-taught player, his family's move to Los Angeles in 1977 had a great effect on Mike's musical development. He credits West Coast icons like Don Menza, Dick Berk and Ferguson as some of his most influential mentors. Playing regularly on the West Coast scene he also worked with top names like Bob Cooper, Jack Sheldon, Bill Perkins, Terry Gibbs and many more. In 1987, he won the Shelley Manne New Talent Award.
Fahn moved back to New York in 1993 with his wife, bassist Mary Ann McSweeney, whom he had met a year earlier. Over the years he's played with a virtual who's who of modern jazz, including Freddie Hubbard, Dizzy Gillespie, Ira Sullivan, Chet Baker, Louis Bellson, Donald Brown, Diana Krall, Eddie Daniels, Bill Pierce, John Patittucci and many more.
A regular on the New York scene, he's toured nationally and internationally with trumpeters Tom Harrell and Bill Mobley, performed with the Big Bands of Andrew Hill and Maynard Ferguson and with his own groups. Mike also teaches in the New Jersey Performing Arts Center's Jazz for Teens program.