Michael Dease’s Best Next Thing gathers an assemblage of exceptional musicians to help him interactively explore the essence of the blues and reframe the abstract truths of jazz as the "Best Next Thing" for today's audience of listeners.
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 winners 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 NYC 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, side person, and bandleader.
Dease, the winner of the 69th Annual DownBeat Magazine poll for Trombonist of the Year and multi-Grammy award winner, is also a sought-after 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, constantly adjusting his tone and timbre to add just the right flavor to the music.
Michael 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, Hot House Magazine, Michigan State University, among others. Dease was profiled in Cicily Janus’ book, The New Face of Jazz: An Intimate Look at Today’s Living Legends. 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 University of North Texas, Scranton University, University of Iowa, Florida State College, Broward College, and many institutions abroad. He serves as Professor of Jazz Trombone at the renowned Michigan State University jazz program and has also been on faculty at Queens College - CUNY, The New School and North-eastern University. Many of Dease’s current and former students are enjoying successful careers in the music world.