PRISM Quartet with Michael Dease

On March 3rd, the PRISM Quartet is joined by jazz trombone great Michael Dease in an eclectic program of new music at the First Presbyterian Church of Ypsilanti. In advance of an upcoming world premiere in New York City, Dease and PRISM will give a preview performance of The Waves by Dutch avant-pop composer Jacob TV, followed by select movements from both Chris Potter’s Improvisations and Joe Lovano’s Supersonix. The program also features two stand-alone quartets: Roshanne Etezady’s KEEN, and a preview of Emily Cooley’s Dissolve. Bright Sheng‘s Tune From Childhood for solo alto saxophone, performed by PRISM’s Zachary Shemon, rounds out the program. Cooley is the winner of PRISM’s inaugural Robert Capanna Commissioning Award.


PRISM Quartet, Diego Rivera, and Michael Dease perform “Name Day” by Tim Ries



Jacob TV writes, “The Waves is inspired by the timeless poetry of the 13th century Japanese monk Dogen. I intended to write music about temporality and impermanence, and I realized that sound is a good metaphor for that, because sound is a vibration which appears out of nothing and disappears right after. I am fascinated by the indifferent beauty of the swelling and fading of a single sound.”

Chris Potter said that Improvisations “was conceived as exactly that: I improvised five short pieces on tenor saxophone, transcribed what I played, then orchestrated the music for saxophone ensemble. In this way I sought to hold on to the immediacy and unexpected quality of improvised music, created in a moment’s time, while also giving myself leeway to use the rich array of harmonic and orchestrational possibilities afforded by the more traditional compositional process.”

Lovano writes, “‘Super Sonix’ is inspired by and dedicated to the genius and Third Stream pioneer Gunther Schuller, as well as modern jazz master Ornette Coleman. I drew from my personal experiences playing within some great saxophone sections: The Woody Herman Band, Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra, Carla Bley Band, and The Charlie Haden Liberation Music Orchestra. ‘Super Sonix’ is a piece which explores the natural beauty found in the harmolodic rhythmic tapestry of improvised music.”

Etezady writes that that word “keen signifies a wailing lamentation for the dead. The use of the drone at the beginning and the end of KEEN evokes a sense of solemnity and perhaps spirituality.” As the title suggests, Cooley’s Dissolve is about musical progress and eventual dissolution. The work concludes with a hymn that evokes a quality of sadness, but, in her words, “is meant to be more nostalgic than desolate.” Tune From Childhood by Bright Sheng, drawn from fragments of folk tunes the composer heard in the 1970s when he was living in the northwestern part of China.



KEEN** (2004) by Roshanne Etezady
Tune From Childhood (1999) by Bright Sheng
Dissolve* (2018, preview) by Emily Cooley
Improvisations* (2015) by Chris Potter
Supersonix* (2017) by Joe Lovano
The Waves** by Jacob TV (2018, preview)

*Commissioned for the PRISM Quartet; **Composed for the PRISM Quartet



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 TakeoverClarityDease BonesGraceComing 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, Neil 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.



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 Alice M. Ditson Fund of Columbia University, and Meridian Winds.

Meridian Winds

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

March 03, 2019
8:00 PM

$22 general admissions, $17 seniors and students ($3 more at the door)

Box office contact info: (800) 595-4849 (additional fee for phone orders)