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.
Dease quickly established a reputation as a brilliant soloist and sideman, and began recording as a leader.
Dease’s latest release, titled Father Figure (2016 Posi-Tone), showcases his new and talented
and energetic band. The record features a well balanced program of both original compositions and thought
provoking arrangements. The group of musicians includes alto saxophonists Markus Howell and Immanuel Lewis, vibe player Behn Gillece, pianist Glenn Zaleski,
bassist Endea Owens, and new and upcoming drummer Luther Allison.
Dease has released seven previous albums as a leader: The Takeover (2005), Clarity (2007), Dease Bones
(2008), Grace (2010), Coming Home (2013 D Clef Records), Relentless (2014 Posi-Tone), and Decisions (2015 Posi-Tone).
Dease 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 Workshop,
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).
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