Michael Dease was born in the countryside of Augusta, GA in the “Deep South,” and 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, sideman, and leader.
This year Dease explores the roots and branches of Jazz with All These Hands, his fourth album for Posi- Tone and tenth overall. Dease carefully composed twelve pieces representing the major destinations and "homes" of Jazz music in the early 20th century. In order to capture the city and country flavors of Jazz music's journey, Dease called upon superlative collaborators including pianist Renee Roses, multi-reedist Steve Wilson, drum set master Lewis Nash, and a trifecta of bass artists Rodney Whitaker, Gerald Cannon and Rufus Reid to comprise two contrasting chamber ensembles- the Quintet and the Trio. Special guests include ace guitarist Randy Napoleon and Trinidadian trumpeter Etienne Charles.
Dease recently won the 64th Annual Downbeat Magazine Critic's Poll for Rising Star Jazz Trombonist, and is a sought-after and two-time Grammy award winning 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 and constantly adjusts 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 Work- shop, New York Youth Symphony, among others. Dease was recently profiled in Cicily Janus’ book, The New Face of Jazz: An Intimate Look at Today’s Living Legends (Random House). In June 2016, Dease
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 currently teaches 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.