The multi-instrumentalist and educator Michael Dease hails from Augusta, GA which is known for giving the world James Brown. Although best known as a tenor and bass trombonist, Dease also plays, trumpet, piano, saxophone and bass. he is currently the Assistant Professor of Jazz Trombone at Michigan State University, he previously held similar positions at Queens College, CUNY, and The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York City. At 17 years old Michael self-taught himself how to play the trombone and rapidly gained so much proficiency that he won a scholar to attend the prestigious Julliard Jazz Studies program with the amazingly talented Wycliffe Gordon as his instructor. While at Julliard, Dease won many trombone competitions amassing many awards as not only a trombonist, but as a composer as well. He is esteemed for his imaginative soloing and compositions, always full of fresh ideas. He began his professional career at only 20 years old as a member of the Illinois Jacquet Big Band which led to touring around the world with other excellent ensembles such as the Jimmy Heath Big Band, Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band and several other large and small groups. Michael also is the founder of the D-Clef Records label.
For his newest recording Dease decided to embark on his most challenging theme to date, tracing the journey of jazz from its New Orleans birthplace up the Mississippi River through St. Louis to Chicago, onward to New York and beyond. “All These Hands” on the Posi-Tone Records label is the ideal choice for “Black History Month”. He has a stellar line up of accompanists that include his MSU faculty colleagues, bassist Rodney Whitaker, saxophonist Diego Rivera and trumpeter Etienne Charles. In addition, there are guest stints by pianist Renee Rosnes, drummer Lewis Nash, Steve Wilson on flute and bassist Rufus Reid among other stand out musicians. Besides the afore-mentioned cities, Dease and his group pay homage to other important cities in jazz history, Memphis, Detroit, Philadelphia, Brooklyn and the sea islands off the coast of his home state, Georgia and South Carolina renowned for its unique Gullah culture and language. After listening to this most satisfying recording, you’ll be throwing both your hands up in joy for a most rewarding musical journey.