PRISM Quartet

PRISM Quartet in Concert with Saxophonist Diego Rivera and Trombonist Michael Dease

Diego Rivera

The PRISM Quartet, whose ECM album The Fifth Century with The Crossing choir was awarded a 2018 Grammy, presents a concert in Ypsilanti, Michigan featuring two of the nation’s leading jazz artists, both of whom serve on the faculty of Michigan State University: saxophonist Diego Rivera and trombonist Michael Dease. Rivera and Dease will join PRISM in works commissioned by PRISM as part of its Heritage/Evolution project by Steve Lehman, Miguel Zenon, and Tim Ries. PRISM will also perform compositions by two Michigan composers: David Biedenbender’s Staying the Night and Kristopher Bendrick’s The Acclimation of Temporal Matter in a Vacant Room, in addition to works by rising-stars Gabriella Smith and Emily Koh. With the exception of Staying the Night, all works on the program were written for PRISM.

Proceeds from the concert will benefit PRISM’s Michigan residency program in which the Quartet visits schools in Detroit and throughout Southeast Michigan for assembly performances, composition classes, learning labs, and coaching sessions. According to Damien Crutcher, the founding executive director of Crescendo Detroit, “Our motto is ‘Building character through music.’ One of our major goals is to regularly expose our kids to the best artists possible. We believe if they can see it, they can be it, which is why we are beyond excited to have the PRISM Quartet in residence with us here, in the heart of Detroit.”


Spring/Neap (2012) by Gabriella Smith
The Acclimation of Temporal Matter in a Vacant Room (2017) by Kristopher Bendrick
heteronym (2016) by Emily Koh
15 Places at the Same Time (select movements), (2014) by Steve Lehman


Staying the Night (2014) by David Biedenbender
The Missing Piece (1999) by Miguel Zenon
Name Day (2014) by Tim Ries

Guest Artists

Michael Dease, Trombone
Michael Dease
Michael Dease has emerged as one of the premier jazz trombonists of his generation. Born in Augusta, Georgia, Dease played the saxophone and trumpet before choosing the trombone. He was a self-taught high school senior when he moved to New York in 2001 to study at the Juilliard School where he earned his Bachelor and Master degrees. Dease quickly established his reputation as a soloist and sideman, recording 4 albums as a leader and logging over 100 sessions as a sideman, all before the age of 30. His releases as a leader include: The Takeover, Clarity, Dease Bones, Grace, Coming Home, and his latest, All These Hands. The Grammy award-winning trombonist, has played with many of today’s foremost jazz orchestras, including those led by Wynton Marsalis, Christian McBride, Roy Hargrove, Nicholas Payton, Charles Tolliver and Rufus Reid. Dease has also performed with Winard Harper, Renee Rosnes, Bill Charlap, Claudio Roditi, The Heath Brothers, Lewis Nash, Alicia Keys, Paul Simon, Paul Schaffer and the CBS Orchestra, Elton John, Neal Diamond, Illinois Jacquet, Slide Hampton, Fred Wesley, Maceo Parker, WDR Big Band, George Gruntz, Billy Harper, and numerous others. He learned his craft from trombone legends Wycliffe Gordon and Joseph Alessi and is frequently asked to host master classes in the U.S. and abroad. Dease teaches jazz trombone full time at Michigan State University and has also been on faculty at Queens College CUNY, The New School and Northeastern University. In addition to leading his own quartet, quintet and sextet, he conducts his own 17-piece big band.

Diego Rivera, Saxophone
Diego Rivera
Diego Rivera is Associate Director of Jazz Studies at Michigan State University where he also holds an appointment as Assistant Professor of Jazz Saxophone. He has been called, “A vital, new voice on the saxophone.” In 1999, Rivera toured nationally with the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra for their Big Band ’99 U.S. tour. Since, his performances have taken him throughout North America, Russia and Japan. His Commitment to the education of young jazz musicians resulted in his appointment as Associate Conductor of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s Civic Jazz Ensembles. In 2005 Rivera was commissioned by the Center for Great Lakes Culture to compose and premiere an original jazz suite in honor of civil rights activist Dolores Huerta. In 2006, he released his first album Hercules on his own label, Rivera Records. An avid composer and arranger, Rivera has written arrangements for a number of events and concerts, most notably for Jazz at Lincoln Center’s “Motor City Jazz” concert, a tribute to the music and musicians of Detroit. Rivera and MSU Jazz Orchestra I under the direction of Rodney Whitaker premiered Rivera’s arrangement of Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” suite in 2006 at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola in New York City. Rivera’s arrangements can also be heard on two of The Carl Allen-Rodney Whitaker Project’s critically acclaimed Mack Avenue Records recordings entitled, Get Ready (2007) and Work To Do (2008). In the fall of 2013 he will release his second album The Contender on the D-Clef Records label. Diego is an endorser for Thomas Woodwinds Mouthpieces. In addition to his own ensemble, Rivera has toured with Juno-Award winning Canadian Vocalist, Sophie Milman, The Rodney Whitaker Quartet and the MSU Professors of Jazz. Rivera has also performed with Christian McBride, Jon Hendricks, Clark Terry, Ellis Marsalis, Jon Faddis, Jimmy Cobb, The Michael Dease Big Band, The Lincoln Center Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra and The Gerald Wilson Big Band.

This program is presented with generous support from the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts, the Quaker Chemical Foundation, the Alice M. Ditson Fund of Columbia University, and Meridian Winds.

First Presbyterian Church of Ypsilanti
300 N. Washington St., Ypsilanti, MI 48197

April 03, 2018
8:00 PM

$22 general admission, $17 student with ID

Box office contact info:
(800) 595-4849 (phone sales are subject to an additional per-ticket fee of $3.50). ON DAY OF CONCERT, TICKETS MUST BE PURCHASED AT DOOR, BEGINNING AT 7:00 PM.