With over 30 years under his belt as a professional percussionist, Mikel’s musical journey has seen him through many styles and challenges with widely varied artists the world over. Born in Austin, Texas in 1963, Mikel began playing professionally in 1982, a week after graduating from high school, with musician, songwriter, and produce Derrick Edmondson (Jody Whatley, Chaka Khan, Kenny Loggins). Shortly after that he began playing off and on locally with Grammy Award winning artist Kirk Whalum and opened for Sting and The Dave Matthews Band at the Starplex in Dallas, Texas while a member of the pop/rock band Spirit Child.
After spending four years playing in the local community college jazz band, he played with the calypso band Steel Power for three years and moved on to perform regularly with R & B group Sweet Daddy Redd and the late rap/hip-hop artists MC Overlord. While with MC Overlord, he recorded two CDs, “A Better Funk” and “Dark Side” and also played regularly as a guest with artists such as Los Lonely Boys, Lisa Tingle, Grammy award winning singer/songwriter Ady Hernandez (son of Grammy winning Tejano musician Joe Hernandez), The Dahebegebees, Del Castillo, and the late Stephen Bruton. Mikel went on to play and tour with renowned guitar player Monte Montgomery from 2001-2008. While playing with Monte’s band, they opened for artists such as Ben Taylor, The Outfield, Wide-Spread Panic, Indigenous, and Train. Mikel also toured Italy with Monte performing at the Soave Music Festival. Other notable performances with Monte Montgomery included the International Music Festival, South by Southwest (SXSW), and Austin City Limits. Other venues with Monte Montgomery included regular House of Blues dates in Boston, Houston, Dallas, New Orleans and Chicago.
In 2009 Mikel was asked to join Austin, Texas’ original 8-piece soul band Mingo Fishtrap and did a 7-year run ending in 2015 following the release of their CD “On Time.” Mingo played the Muscle Shoals 2 Music Row Live webcast in Muscle Shoals, Alabama and the first ever Stax to the Max festival at the legendary Stax studio museum in Memphis, Tennessee. Past Mingo performances have included the Delbert McClinton Sandy Beaches Cruise (on which the band has performed for many years), Austin City Limits, Smokey Hill River Festival, Kansas City Jazz in the Woods, The International Jazz Festival in Rochester, New York, annual performances at Musikfest in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and many others. Other notable performances include a performance at the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and Summerfest in Albany, New York with the Neville Brothers. Mingo Fishtrap has performed on bills with a wide range of artists: Sting, Blues Traveler, Raul Malo and The Mavericks, The Neville Brothers, Trombone Shorty, Ozomatli, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Little Feat, Jonny Lang, Marc Broussard, Earth, Wind and Fire, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Robert Randolph, and Sheryl Crow among others.
2015 marked the release of “Spectrum” with a new band, The 80H Project, and “Imagine” with Grammy winning saxophonist Fabian Hernandez. In 2018 the much-anticipated CD “Lonely World” was released by The 80H Project and saw Mikel move from his home in Austin, Texas to Nashville, Tennessee where he has played with Sony artist Brinn Black as well as Dynamo and The Close.
He continues to play and tour with The 80H Project.
Mikel endorses Tycoon Percussion, Roland USA, Rich Sticks,
Swan Percussion, Soultone Cymbals, and Humes & Berg.
MC Overlord - A Better Funk (Hip Hop 1995)