Mike Flanagan is a Lennon Award-winning, OUTmusic Award-winning, and three-time Billboard-charting saxophonist, pianist, music director, songwriter, and educator. He began playing professionally at age 17 and went on to earn a Bachelor’s of Music in Jazz Performance and Music Education from Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. During his undergraduate studies, he was selected at the age of 19 to tour Japan as a member of the Berklee Swing Orchestra and by 20 he held a two-night weekly performance-residency as band leader at the Sheraton Hotel Prudential; featuring world-renowned artists such as Esperanza Spaulding, Terri Lyne Carrington, Joann Brackeen, Christian Scott, Andre Hayward, and Jason Palmer. After graduating, Mike began songwriting, producing, and releasing albums independently, under recording-artist moniker, MikeMRF, through his own label MRF Music.
In 2013, Mike released his sophomore album Mob Music which peaked at #1 on the iTunes Jazz Albums Charts and #2 on the Billboard HeatSeekers Chart. The album would go on to produce several radio singles and song placements in Film and Television (Off Season TV, Amazon and Bear City 2 and 3, both of which Mike acted in). The album also garnered a number of songwriting awards. In 2014, Mike won 2 OUTmusic Awards including the highly coveted Humanitarian Songwriter of the Year for his song "Be Strong (LGBT Youth)” and Best Spoken Word for “Tender." He garnered 5 nominations that year, the most of any artist, including Best Music Video for “Trying.” “Be Strong" was also selected as Boston Pride's Flag-Raising Anthem. Additionally, in 2014, the album’s jazz ballad "This Love" placed Top 10 in the U.S. Songwriting Competition and in 2017, the album title track “Mob Music” won the Lennon Award (Hip-Hop) in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest.
The Mob Music album was followed by Mike’s 2016 EP, Yasko Sensei, dedicated to his late mentor and musical-hero, Yasko Kubota. The EP landed at #11 on the iTunes Jazz Albums Charts and #2 on Billboard's Most Added Chart for radio-single "Makes Me Wonder.” Mike continued his education in the Music Theory & Composition Master’s Program at New York University Steinhardt, where he was made an Adjunct Professor of Private Composition. During his time at NYU, Mike toured the U.S. and U.K as Music Director for Lisa Bello, held a 2-year weekly live-music residency on Sundays at ReBar Chelsea, and wrote the Mob Music 2 Album as his coursework and thesis for his Master’s Degree. Mob Music 2 was released on October 18, 2019 and hit #39 on the iTunes R&B Albums Chart and was featured on Apple Music. Album opener, "Tip Jar" landed in the Semi-Finals of the 2020 International Songwriting Competition and was featured in the Television Show “30 The Series” (Amazon Prime) along with two other songs from the album.
Throughout his career, Mike has performed with Lea Delaria, Ruth Pointer (Pointer Sisters), Cassandra Wilson, Matt Alber, Ada Vox, Varla Jean Merman, Esera Tuaolo, and many more. He has also recorded piano for Kat Deluna and LeAndria Johnson. Mike is a voting member of the Recording Academy (GRAMMYs.) and holds a MA Professional Educator’s License in Music (Instrumental, Vocal, General).
Currently, he is the Music and Entertainment Director for the Post Office Cabaret in Provincetown, MA where he produces and performs in a number of shows, including ‘Whitney’ The Music of Whitney Houston and 90’s Night. He also holds a 4-night weekly live music residency at The Club Ptown on both saxophone and piano.