Dr. Maki grew up in Glenview, Illinois, a northern suburb of Chicago, and is an alumnus of NIU, having earned his B.M. in composition in 1989. While a student at NIU, he studied composition with A. Oscar Haugland, Lee Cloud and Jan Bach, and studied piano with Donald Walker. He holds graduate degrees in composition from the University of Iowa (M.A.) and the University of Michigan (D.M.A.). His teachers include David Gompper, Evan Chambers, Erik Santos, James Aikman, Bright Sheng, and Michael Daugherty. Dr. Maki joined the NIU School of Music faculty in 2002.
His music has been performed widely at regional and national venues by ensembles such as the New York Miniaturist Ensemble, Contemporary Directions, the University of Iowa Center for New Music, Mosaic, Prime Directive, Indiana University Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, Kantorei, Due East, and Duo XXI. Recordings of his music are available on the Albany Records label and has been described as "fresh and unusual" by All Music Guide, "vivid, languid, introspective" by American Record Guide and "meditative and beautiful" by Fanfare.
Dr. Maki also is active as a performer of new music as a soloist, as a duo-pianist with Ashlee Mack, and as a collaborator with many other ensembles and artists.
Currently, he is working with bassist Anthony Stoops on a program of new music for solo bass and bass with piano. They will play the program on tour in 2012-13 and record it for commercial release in 2013.