Mark Kirschenmann

Lecturer of Jazz & Contemporary Improvisation and Lecturer in the Residential College


Mark Kirschenmann, PhD, whose pioneering live electric trumpet performances are internationally acclaimed, is a composer, performer, and scholar of creative improvisation. He is also the creative force behind the band E3Q (Block M Records), an eclectic jazz-influenced trio with his wife, cellist Katri Ervamaa, and percussionist Michael Gould. Most recently, he released the solo album This Electric Trumpet (Sonikmann Records); recorded with the Nashville-based electronica duo Sub-ID (BFF, 1320 Records); and appeared with pianist Thollem McDonas, bassist Henry Grimes, flutist Nicole Mitchell, cornetist Rob Mazurek’s Sao Paulo Underground, saxophonists Oliver Lake and Arthur Blythe, and pianist Iiro Rantala of Trio Töykeät.

As a composer and writer, Kirschenmann explores the confluence of composition and improvisation. He has published articles on Messiaen’s use of improvisation as a compositional technique, and on new approaches to melodic jazz improvisation. He is on the faculty at the University of Michigan, where he shares his time between the School of Music (Jazz) and the Residential College, a liberal arts living-learning community. He also directs U-M’s Creative Arts Orchestra, an innovative, creative improvisation ensemble, and the Michigan Youth Jazz Ensemble. Kirschenmann holds PhD degrees in composition and music theory from the University of Michigan and lives in Ann Arbor, MI with his wife and their three children.