Michael Dease biography
Michael Dease is one of the world's eminent trombonists, lending his versatile sound and signature improvisations to over 200 recordings and groups as diverse as Grammy winning artists David Sanborn, Christian McBride, Michel Camilo, and Alicia Keys. Born in Augusta, GA, he played the saxophone and trumpet before choosing the trombone at age 17. In 2001, Dease moved to New York City to become part of the historic first class of jazz students at The Juilliard School, earning both Bachelors and Masters degrees, and quickly established a reputation as a brilliant soloist, sideperson, and bandleader.
Never More Here (Posi-Tone, 2019), Dease’s newest release, is a reflection of the influence of Charlie Parker on his life, and is much deeper than a collection of Bird tunes. These songs depict Parker’s influence in other’s creative directions, paths less-traveled by proteges J.J. Johnson, Jackie McLean, Jimmy Heath, and John Lewis. Parker’s influence sparkles in artist-composers Eric Alexander, and Eddie Daniels represented here. As a bandleader, this is Dease’s seventh album for Posi-Tone and thirteenth of his career, and features Renee Rosnes, Rufus Reid, Lewis Nash and Steve Wilson to shine new light on these mostly rare songs.
Dease, a winner of Downbeat Magazine’s Critic's Poll for Rising Star Jazz Trombonist and two-time Grammy award winner, is also a sought-after lead, section and bass trombonist with today’s leading jazz orchestras. His experiences include bands led by Christian McBride, Roy Hargrove, Nicholas Payton, Charles Tolliver, Rufus Reid, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and the Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band. However, it is on the frontline of quintets and sextets led by master musicians like The Heath Brothers, Winard Harper, Renee Rosnes, Bill Charlap, Claudio Roditi, and Lewis Nash, where Dease has revitalized the trombone’s image. Not content to simply improvise, Dease arranges and composes for many different bands, constantly adjusting his tone and timbre to add just the right flavor to the music.
Dease’s unique blend of curiosity, hard work and optimism has helped him earn worldwide recognition, including awards from ASCAP, The International Trombone Association, Yamaha, Eastern Trombone Workshop, New York Youth Symphony, Hot House Magazine, Michigan State University, among others. Dease was profiled in Cicily Janus’ book, The New Face of Jazz: An Intimate Look at Today’s Living Legends (Random House). His experience in the studio has led him to produce several recording sessions for emerging artists, often composing and writing liner notes for the releases.
Dease’s singular talent has made him an effective and prolific teacher, resulting in invitations, master classes and residencies at University of North Texas, Scranton University, University of Iowa, Florida State College, Broward College, and many institutions abroad. He serves as Associate Professor of Jazz Trombone at the renowned Michigan State University jazz program, and has also been on faculty at Queens College - CUNY, The New School and Northeastern University. Many of Dease’s current and former students are enjoying successful careers in the music world.
Always an informed, but forward-thinking musician, Dease learned the craft from trombone legends Wycliffe Gordon and Joseph Alessi. His associations have run the entire spectrum of musical experience: Alicia Keys, Paul Simon, Paul Schaffer and the CBS Orchestra, Elton John, Neal Diamond, Illinois Jacquet, Slide Hampton & The World Of Trombones, Fred Wesley, Maceo Parker, WDR Big Band, George Gruntz, Billy Harper, and numerous others.
Dease enjoys spending every possible minute with his extraordinary wife and Professor of Percussion at MSU, Gwendolyn Dease, and their daughters Brooklyn & Charly. He is also an aspiring painter, sports car enthusiast, amateur coffee snob, 80's horror movie aficionado, and enjoys scooting up and down the Michigan highways in his Porsche Boxster Cabriolet.
Previous MAC Jazz Festival Guest Artists include:
2019 - Sean Jones, Trumpet
2018 - Melissa Aldana, Tenor Saxophone
2017 - The Jeff Hamilton Trio
2016 - Doc Severinsen, Trumpet
2015 - New York Voices, Vocal
2014 - Roger Ingram, Trumpet
2013 - Phil Woods, Alto Saxophone
2012 - Delfeayo Marsalis, Trombone
2011 - Jim Widner, Bass; Kim Park, Flute & Alto Sax; Mike Shannon, Tenor Sax; Brett Stamps, Trombone
2010 - Denis Diblasio, Sax
2009 - Joey DeFrancesco, Organ
2008 - Wayne Bergeron, Trumpet
2007 - Steve Wiest, Trombone
2006 - Jim Manley, Trumpet
2005 - Larry Coryell, Guitar; Reggie Thomas, Organ
2004 - Bobby Shew, Trumpet
2002 - Lou Marini, Tenor Saxophone
2001 - Byron Stripling, Trumpet
2000 - Conrad Herwig, Trombone
1999 - Jon Faddis, Trumpet
1998 - Pete Christlieb, Tenor Saxophone
1997 - Bill Watrous, Trombone
1996 - Louis Bellson, Drums
1995 - Clark Terry, Trumpet
1994 - Frank Mantooth, Piano
1993 - Steve Wiest, Trombone
1992 - Ed Soph, Drums
1991 - Jamey Aebersold, Alto Saxophone
1990 - Guido Basso, Trumpet
1989 - Marvin Stamm, Trumpet
1988 - Jerry Coker, Tenor Saxophone
1987 - Marvin Stamm, Trumpet