Mike Marlier is in his 17th year as the director of drum set studies at the University of Denver's Lamont School of Music. He started playing drums at the age of five and didn't stop, having become immersed in the jazz records that he heard at home and at the radio station where he worked. Growing up in Ohio, Marlier played in his school band and studied the string bass with Lawrence Angel from the Cleveland Symphony. He won the Louis Armstrong Excellence in Jazz award his senior year in high school, and attended the prestigious Interlochen Arts Academy in 1975, where he played with Bob Hope, Maynard Ferguson, and Benny Goodman. After completing his studies at Bowling Green State University, he moved to Denver in 1981.
Marlier has performed and recorded with countless professional artists and recently was the featured artist and clinician at a "Gospel Chops" drumming seminar in Taipai, Taiwan. A Dream Cymbal artist/clinician, he was the featured drummer for the Buddy Rich Memorial concert in 2009. His drumming can be heard on many national radio and television commercials, and he serves as the staff drummer for the Mile Hi Church in Denver and for CU's Conference on World Affairs.
As a teacher, Marlier strives to share his vast playing experience with his students, creating a curriculum that is engaging and diverse. He can also be found adjudicating jazz festivals all across the nation. Marlier has two daughters, Britt and Milena, and a grandson, Rilan.