Born: August 25, 1982 Primary Instrument: Trombone
Trombonist Michael Dease has won high praise for his skills as a player, composer, and producer. Since his arrival in 2001, Dease has already developed a distinctive personal sound that leaves a lasting impression with musicians, critics and jazz fans.
Things fell into place quickly for Dease, as he caught the ear of several veteran musicians not long after coming to New York. His first major break came when he was asked to join Illinois Jacquet’s Big Band, with whom he made his debut recording, and he’s never looked back. Since then, the trombonist has performed and toured with the big bands of Roy Hargrove, Jimmy Heath, Christian McBride, and Charles Tolliver.
In June 2008, Michael joined the Dizzy Gillespie™All-Star Big Band. He has also performed with Natalie Cole, Jamie Cullum, Wycliffe Gordon, Jason Hainsworth Jazz Orchestra, Slide Hampton’s World of Trombones, Herbie Hancock, Billy Harper, John Lee, Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Wynton Marsalis, Luis Miguel, James Moody, Nicholas Payton, Claudio Roditi, Paul Simon, and Mark Whitfield.
Born August 25th, 1982 in Augusta, Georgia, Michael initially played alto and tenor saxophones. The switch to trombone came abruptly during his senior year in high school. It was such a natural transition that Michael won four all- state competitions before graduating . In the fall of 2001, after moving to New York, Dease began studying with fellow Augusta, Georgia native Wycliffe Gordon during the inaugural year of The Juilliard School’s jazz program. Michael spent five years at Juilliard earning Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in jazz performance.
Dease has won many prizes, including a hand made trombone from the English instrument manufacturer, Michael Rath Trombones. Additional honors include the International Trombone Association’s Frank Rosolino Award, the J.J. Johnson Prize and the Kai Winding Jazz Ensemble Trophy. In 2004, Dease earned a Yamaha Young Performing Artist Award, and a “Best Jazz Instrumentalist” distinction in the June 2004 edition of Downbeat Magazine. In 2007 Michael was awarded the ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Award. Dease was also among the musicians profiled in author Cicily Janus’ book, The New Face of Jazz (Random House).
For a player still in his twenties, Dease has amassed an impressive discography. He has appeared on the Dizzy Gillespie™All-Star Big Band’s I’m Beboppin’ Too, Charles Tolliver Big Band’s Emperor March, innovative jazz master Illinois Jacquet’s final recording Swingin’ Live with Illinois Jacquet, Claudio Roditi’s Simpatico, and Sharel Cassity’s Relentless.
Dease recorded his first CD The Takeover in 2005 while co-leading a quintet with tenor saxophonist Chris Madsen. This was followed by Dease Bones in 2007, which featured six additional trombonists and special guest Wycliffe Gordon. In 2008, Clarity was released, showcasing Michael’s writing and arranging skills. He has also recorded with Alicia Keys’ (the Grammy-winning track Superwoman), The Curtis Brothers, Room Eleven, Waitiki 7, Matthew Garrison, Brandon Lee, and Thomas Barber’s Janus Bloc. Learning the ropes of producing from veteran John Lee, Dease launched his own record label, D Clef Records, in 2008.
Grace, Dease's third release as a leader features Roy Hargrove, Claudio Roditi, Eric Alexander, Cyrus Chestnut, Mark Whitfield, Rufus Reid, John Lee, and Gene Jackson. It will be released June 1st, 2010 on JLP, Jazz Legacy Productions.
The trombonist stays busy composing, arranging and producing. He is a regular lecturer at Northeastern University in Boston, and an instructor at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York City (three of his students have been accepted into The Juilliard School). Michael frequently takes part in jazz workshops at universities worldwide.
NEA Jazz Master Curtis Fuller, Dease’s original inspiration to switch to trombone and a valuable mentor, stated “I predict that Michael Dease will become one of the world’s great trombone masters” in a 2004 interview. With his considerable chops and writing skills, Michael Dease has what it takes to leave a lasting mark in jazz.
Michael Dease is an artist endorser for Michael Rath trombones, AMT Microphones, ProTec Instrument Cases, and Best Brass Mutes.
“I am simply amazed by the talent and sincerity of this young man, Michael Dease, one of the finest trombonists I have ever seen in my life. A brilliant musician. I am also sincerely proud of his original compositions, and am honored to have one written for me.”
“I predict that Michael Dease will become one of the world’s great trombone masters.” --Curtis Fuller, jazz legend, interview on September 3rd, 2004
“Michael Dease is one of the finest musicians out there today. The feeling that he puts through his instrument carries me way back! It is a pleasure to have Michael in my band. He inspires me.” --Illinois Jacquet, jazz innovator, on July 14, 2004
“One of the most extraordinary musicians I have ever met. Without a doubt the best young trombonist I have ever heard.” --Dr. Nathan Davis, jazz education pioneer, June 14th, 2004
“... a beautiful sound, dark and warm with virtuosic facility. Attention trombonists! Mr. Dease is raising the bar.” --Dr. David Baker, jazz education pioneer, on June 8th, 2004
Tracks: 1. The Takeover (Dease); 2. Molasses (Madsen); 3. Fuller Up (Dease); 4. Agrodolce (Dease); 5. Blues For Joe (Madsen); 6. I'll Fake Romance (Madsen); 7. Cherokee (Noble, Arr. Dease).
Personnel: Michael Dease: trombone; Chris Madsen: tenor saxaphone; Brandon Lee: trumpet (1); Drew Pierson: piano; Yasushi Nakamura: bass; Marion Felder: drums.
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New York, NY
Willing to teach:
Advanced students only.
Michael Dease teaches private lessons by appointment at his studio in New York City, as well as online via Skype. Lesson fees operate on a sliding scale- starting at 100.00 USD per hour. Lessons with Michael Dease are clear, efficient, one-on-one sessions focused upon reaching your specific goals and unlocking your potential as a musical artist. Skype lessons proceed exactly as in-person lessons, with the added conveniences of in-home learning and flexible scheduling. Michael's students have won international awards, attended prestigious conservatories of music such as The Juilliard School and Manhattan School of Music, and distinguished themselves in the professional world as recording artists and jazz soloists. To schedule a lesson, contact Michael via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and indicate your preferred method (NYC or Skype) and available time(s). PayPal is the preferred method of payment- please see the button for lesson options.
Michael Dease completed the BM in Jazz Studies and MM in Jazz Studies at The Juilliard School in New York City. This education grounded in New York City's legendary jazz scene has helped him become a powerful communicator throughout his professional career, and afforded him the foundation of knowledge and ethics required in his public and private teaching opportunities. Mr. Dease has taught at every age range- from toddler to octogenarian-though most of his students and audiences are aspiring trombonists in both high school and college. At Juilliard he was a Morse Teaching Fellow, providing master classes in public schools throughout inner-city Manhattan. Mr. Dease is a Visiting Lecturer at Northeastern University in Boston, and an Instructor at New School University's Jazz and Contemporary Media Program, in New York City. Many of his students have been accepted to the most prestigious conservatories in the world, such as The Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, New England Conservatory and The University of North Texas. Several students have won performance awards from the International Trombone Association, in addition to professional success in their careers. Potential clinics with Michael Dease could include brass styles in a jazz ensemble, jazz improvisation, jazz theory, jazz arranging and composition, or per your suggestion. His experience as a freelance musician is not limited to jazz, but includes pop, rock, rap, rhythm and blues and classical styles, providing him with the knowledge to adapt to any situation. He has received excellent feedback from his professional visits to the campuses of Augusta State University, Broward College, Penn State University, Scranton University and Simpson College.