Saxophone, Clinician, Conductor, Scholar
North Idaho Saxophone Academy
Dr. Michael Keepe lives in picturesque Coeur d’Alene, Idaho (USA) working as an educator, performer, music publisher, entrepreneur, and scholar.
A deeply committed music educator, Dr. Keepe enjoys working with students of all ages from beginner to advanced university. He is active as an adjudicator and clinician for music festivals and competitions. Upon moving to the CDA area he founded the North Idaho Saxophone Academy to provide lessons, clinics and workshops throughout North Idaho. In 2018, he joined the faculty for The Festival at Sandpoint Summer Youth Music Camp conducting the Chamber Band, and teaching saxophone and conducting. Prior to his move to North Idaho, Dr. Keepe served on the faculties of the Fred Fox School of Music at the University of Arizona (Saxophone), Pima County Community College (Saxophone, Music Industry), the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp (Saxophone, Conducting), and as Band Director for the Tucson Unified School District.
As a performer, Dr. Keepe’s goal is to promote and perpetuate the rich and diverse heritage of concert saxophone repertoire. With performances in Canada, Mexico, Australia and throughout the United States, he has performed in such historic venues as the Kennedy Center, The Pentagon, The Hall of The Americas, and the Filene Center at Wolf Trap, in the Washington DC area; Symphony Hall and Temple Square in Salt Lake City; the Paramount Theater in Iowa City; the Fox Theater in Tucson, AZ, and the Panida Theater in Sandpoint, ID.
Dr. Keepe's playing is described as “sonically potent” (Tucson Citizen), “flawless and riveting . . . his interpretation thoughtful and commanding” (Composer Kip Haaheim), a “dazzling virtuoso” (Composer Pamela Decker) and “a beautiful and powerful presence” (Composer David Maslanka). He has performed as soloist with high school and university ensembles, at regional and national saxophone and music educator's conventions, and has recorded with the University of Arizona Wind Ensemble. He has also performed professionally with The Rodriguez & Keepe Duo, Presidio Saxophone Quartet, Arizona Opera, Tucson Chamber Orchestra, Catalina Chamber Orchestra, and the Tucson Symphony Orchestra. As a freelance musician, he has recorded as a studio sideman and performed with touring artists such as Michael Feinstien, Bernadette Peters, the Cab Calloway Orchestra, The Temptations, and cover-bands like Beatlemania.
Dr. Keepe also champions the creation and performance of new repertoire. He has premiered dozens of works by composers from across the globe enjoying collaborations with renowned composers such as Pamela Decker, James Demars, Bryan Kip Haaheim, Drew Krause, Graham Lynch, David Maslanka, Lennie Niehaus, Lewis Spratlan, Andersen Viana, Jay Vosk, and Judith Lang Zaimont. This commitment to new music led to the creation of Keepe Publishing House, promoting the finest of today’s concert and jazz saxophone repertoire.
In addition to the teaching credentials mentioned above, Dr. Keepe also served as Lecturer of Entrepreneurship for the McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship, and The Dorrance Scholars Program at the University of Arizona. His involvement in the music industry as a teacher, performer, record producer, and entrepreneur, has helped to foster relationships with performers, composers, and entertainment industry executives around the United States and abroad. His experience as a concert artist and in the music business provides him with a unique perspective into the music industry, creating demand as guest lecturer at universities, leadership conferences, and music festivals. His students in Entrepreneurship and Music Industry courses have received internships in top businesses in their fields, and have created successful business start-ups such as record labels, artist management companies, and online educational software companies. In 2015, Dr. Keepe’s innovative approach to establishing a career in performing and teaching was featured in the textbook, The Savvy Music Teacherby David Cutler.
Dr. Keepe’s scholarly activities include published critical reviews of recordings, historical collections, and scholastic texts, for the peer-reviewed journals of the North American Saxophone Alliance (Saxophone Symposium) and the Music & Entertainment Industry Educator’s Association. Most recently, Dr. Keepe co-authored the first volume of Prospettive sul jazz: tradizioni stilistiche e formazione dei musicistireleased by the esteemed Italian publisher Aracne Editrice, Rome.
Dr. Keepe received a Doctorate in Saxophone Performance with a Minor in Music Business at the University of Arizona where he served as Graduate Teaching Assistant for the Saxophone Studio and the Camerata Career Development programs. He was the recipient of the Distinguished Graduate Student Award, the School of Music’s highest award for scholarly achievement, and the coveted tri-university (UA, ASU, NAU) Northern Piper Trust Award in Fine Arts for his dissertation entitled The Hollywood Saxophone Quartet: Its History and Contribution to Saxophone Quartet Performance in the United States. His dissertation has since received the attention of the online journal The Saxophone Todayand led to Dr. Keepe’s contribution to the above-mentioned Italian publication.
Dr. Keepe is a Performing Artist and Clinician for the Conn-Selmer Company performing on Selmer Paris saxophones exclusively. He can be heard on the Albany, AUR, Coseismic, and Viva Nostalgie recording labels. For more information visit www.mikekeepe.com.
Jean Marie Londiex