Michael Dease

Michael Dease 's 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 Award-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 a bachelor's degree and a master's degree and quickly establishing a reputation as a brilliant soloist, sideperson and bandleader.

Dease, winner of DownBeat Magazine's Critics Poll for Rising Star Jazz Trombone and Hot House Jazz Magazine's Trombonist of the Year, is a multiple Grammy Award-winning collaborator and a sought after lead, section and bass trombonist with the leading jazz orchestras of his time. His experience includes performing with bands led by Christian McBride, Roy Hargrove, Nicholas Payton, Charles Tolliver and Rufus Reid as well as 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 such as the Heath Brothers, Winard Harper, Renee Rosnes, Bill Charlap, Claudio Roditi and Lewis Nash where Dease has revitalized the trombone's image. No less that jazz trombone legends Slide Hampton, Curtis Fuller, Bill Watrous and Fred Wesley have cited Dease as their favorite trombonist in the jazz world. 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.

A unique blend of curiosity, hard work and optimism has helped Dease earn worldwide recognition, including awards from ASCAP, the International Trombone Association, Yamaha, the Eastern Trombone Workshop, New York Youth Symphony, Hot House Magazine and Michigan State University, among others. He was profiled in Cicily Janus' book The New Face of Jazz: An Intimate Look at Today's Living Legends and the Artists of Tomorrow (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 the University of North Texas, The University of Scranton, University of Iowa, Florida State College at Jacksonville, Broward College and many institutions abroad. He serves as Professor of Jazz Trombone at the renowned Michigan State University Jazz Studies Program and has been on faculty at Queens College - CUNY, The New School and Northeastern University. Many of Dease's students are enjoying successful careers in the music world.

His associations have run the entire spectrum of musical experience from Alicia Keys to Paul Simon, Paul Shaffer and the CBS Orchestra, Elton John, Neil Diamond, Illinois Jacquet, Slide Hampton & The World of Trombones, Fred Wesley, Maceo Parker, the WDR Big Band, George Gruntz, Billy Harper and numerous others. Dease is a Yamaha Performing Artist and performs on Yamaha Trombones, Trumpets and Saxophones exclusively.

Dease enjoys spending every possible minute with his extraordinary wife and Professor of Percussion at Michigan State University, Gwendolyn Dease, and their daughters Brooklyn and Charly. He is also an aspiring painter, sports car enthusiast, amateur coffee snob and 1980s horror movie aficionado, and enjoys scooting up and down the Michigan highways in his Porsche Boxster Cabriolet.

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