Performer & Educator
Michael Mixtacki is a percussionist and educator on the faculty in the Percussion Department of Northern Illinois University. Michael earned a Masters Degree from the Jacobs School of Music - Indiana University where he helped co-direct the Afro-Cuban Folkloric and Brazilian percussion ensembles. His teachers include Michael Spiro, Anthony DiSanza, Jorge Alabê, and Scott Kettner.
As a performer, Michael is currently the drummer, percussionist, lead singer, and arranger for Ritmos Unidos, a Caribbean Jazz fusion group based out of Bloomington, Indiana and led by percussionist Michael Spiro. His most recent recordings have been with Ritmos Unidos, the Latin Jazz Collective (under the direction of bandleader Michael Spiro) and Nate Johnson and the Keepers.
Michael has been featured as a singer and percussionist with several Brazilian bands including Grupo Balança in Madison, Wisconsin and Ginga in Boulder, Colorado. He was a timpanist with the Madison Symphony Orchestra and has performed in a variety of clinics at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention.
As an educator, Michael has been a guest artist at many colleges and high schools throughout the Midwest. He has been a faculty member at the University of Wisconsin -Summer Music Clinic and the percussion session at the Birch Creek Music Performance Center. Together with a handful of other percussion educators in the Midwest, Michael founded The Yonofo Project – a project dedicated to the study and preservation of the Arará musical tradition from Matanzas, Cuba.