Mikel Nelson comes from a family of artists and musicians in South Dakota. He has performed professionally for over 44 years. In the 1980s Mikel moved to the Los Angeles area and performed with numerous jazz groups and big bands including Jimmy Dorsey, Alvino Rey, Helen O’Connell and Glenn Miller. In the 1990s Mikel relocated to Colorado Springs where he continued performing with big bands and small jazz groups, including: the Colorado Springs Jazz Big Band, the bluegrass group Full Moon Rising, the top salsa band Oquesta Sabroso, and his blues band Dog’s Best Friend. He also was a regular member of the pit orchestra for the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, and a first call bass local player for touring artists.
Moving to the San Diego area in 2003, he has concentrated on playing double bass with several big bands and jazz groups around the county, working with many of the area’s top jazz musicians, such as Tony Ortega. He also plays bass for the Lady Star Blues Band, and is a first call sub for many bands.