Mike Smukal played the trombone "jazz chair" in the USAF Airmen of Note from 1971-1974. He then moved to Las Vegas and began an 18-year period performing in several hotel house bands in the main showrooms. He was a member of the house bands at the Desert Inn, Aladdin, Sands, Caesars Palace, Frontier, Dunes and Tropicana hotels (where he also served as Assistant Conductor for the Folies Bergere). He performed with many of the celebrities appearing in Las Vegas during that time period, including Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, Elvis Presley, etc.
Mike is a UNLV music alumnus and was awarded his Bachelor of Arts (1980) and Master of Music (1985) degrees. He began his public school teaching career in Las Vegas (CCSD) in 1985 and has enjoyed teaching Instrumental Music for the past 20 years. He is currently the Director of Bands at Charles A. Silvestri Junior High School in Las Vegas where he teaches seven bands. His jazz bands have received numerous accolades and were selected to perform in the IAJE Western Regional Conference (2003). Mike also serves as the Director of Jazz Bands at the Lake Tahoe Music Camp through the University of Nevada at Reno (since 1985). Mike is a prolific writer and has written many musical compositions and arrangements which are performed by high school and middle school bands throughout Nevada.
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