Mike Nord

Department Chair, Professor of Music, Music Technology, Improvisation & Jazz Studies
Specialty: Creator and director of the Willamette University Music Technology Studios

Mike teaches the music technology curriculum, and oversees the digital studios in Ford Hall. He co-chairs the Arts Technology and Multimedia program, which focuses on creativity and collaboration across artistic media. Mike also teaches music improvisation, jazz studies, and electric guitar.

Mike's teaching is guided by his ongoing work as a performer and recording artist on guitar and electronics. He focuses on improvised work, with a particular interest in interdisciplinary collaboration. Current projects include the music and dance theater group Noru Ka Soru Ka, the instrumental trio Mike Nord and Georg Hofmann with Adreas Stahel, and Willamette Underground, a jazz touring group made up of Willamette University faculty. Other recent collaborations have included composing the installation piece Vortices with artist Ann Kresge, and poet Dawn Diez Willis, and improvisational duets with dancer Makoto Matsushima.

His most recent Leo Records recording is tree,wind & flowers (2015) with Georg Hofmann (percussion) and Andreas Stahel (flutes/voice). Previous Leo recordings include Music of Noru Ka Soru Ka  (2013) with Georg Hofmann and Makoto Matsushima (voice) The Flow: Music for Improvised Dance (2010) with percussionist Georg Hofmann and In Walks Art (2004) and Biosphere (2006) with the group Carr Nord Hofmann joined by Art Maddox. Other recordings are on the Nabel, and P7 labels. Also a composer, Mike has performed original music and intermedia pieces internationally. Festival appearances include People’s Fringe Hong Kong, Peoples Fringe Shenzhen (China), Oggimusica (Switzerland), AsiaTri Jogja 2014 (Indonesia) Aalener Jazzfest (Germany), Festival Internacional Cervantino (Mexico), Koetzting Kulturfest (Germany), Nichinan Ottofest (Japan), Sin Compass (Mexico) the Sundance Festival (Nepal).

Mike is passionate about teaching. In addition to his classes at Willamette University he has given workshops and clinics in the US and abroad for organizations including the Aalener Jazzfest (Germany), Escuela Nacional de Musica, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico; (Mexico City, Mexico). Jugendmusikschule Zurich, Hochschule fur Musik Zurich, Konservatorium Winterthur (Switzerland), Kathmandu Jazz Conservatory (Nepal), Peoples Fringe Festival, City Contemporary Dance Company (Hong Kong), Performing Arts Institute, Tokyo Sports Science University (Tokyo, Japan)

Mike has made professional presentations at conferences and seminars for organizations including the Association for Technology in Music Instruction, International Conference on the Arts and Society, International Association for Jazz Education, The National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education, Technological Directions in Music Learning, Technology Institute for Music Education, Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education, World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia, & Telecommunications, College Music Society, and Music Educators National Conference.


  • B.A. Music (SUNY Buffalo, NY); M. M. Jazz and Commercial Studies (Manhattan School of Music, NY) ; Ed.M, Ed.D., Music and Music Education, (Columbia University, NY).

Released CDs

Nord, Mike. Tree, wind & flowers. Leo Records, 2015. Audio Recording.


Nord, Mike and Ning, Mon. The Meeting Place. Collaborative improvised music and dance performance at Peoples Fringe Festival. Hong Kong. November 2015.

Miley, James; Nord, Mike; Biesack, Ryan. Willamette Underground Trio. Performances at Peoples Fringe Festival, Hong Kong, November 2015.

Miley, James; Nord, Mike; Biesack, Ryan. Willamette Underground Trio. Performances at Kathmandu Jazz Conservatory, March 2016.