TRIP SLAYMAKER ’18
Trinity College saxophone instructor Mike Casey has drawn acclaim in recent months, following the release of his debut album’s release. The album is a live recording of the Mike Casey Trio, entitled “The Sounds of Surprise: Live at The Side Door.”
Since receiving large crowds at recent New York City debuts, both the Trio and the album have drawn the admiration of jazz fans and major publications. The album has already received international sales, airplay, and press, including featured placement & editorial coverage in the Jay Z/Beyonce-owned TIDAL streaming service, in addition to appearing on other prominent services and newspapers.
Casey is Trinity’s representative in Hartford’s small but powerful jazz scene. Halfway between Boston and New York, Hartford has come to hold some significance in the history and North-Eastern network of Jazz music. One of the standout pieces of the album was written by Casey in homage to the city of Hartford, titled “Dagobah,” the swamp-planet exile of the Jedi Master Yoda. This mythical Star Wars location is a refuge for the mysterious powers of the Force: Casey has found Hartford to be just as conducive to developing his work in the field of jazz as that planet was for the Jedi profession.
The bending golden notes of his saxophone are at times more descriptive than words could be. The most refined piece of music on the album is “Hydraulics,” a relentless powerhouse of musical expression.
Casey proves himself to be an accomplished performer and writer in many of these tracks, as do his musical compatriots. The most remarkable thing about the album has to be its connection to Hartford. such a dedication does the city a great honor. The music certainly aims at time to capture the feel of the city. Corey Garcia and Matt Dwonszyk, Casey’s band mates, are both connected, as Casey is, to the Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz at the University of Hartford’s Hartt School of Music, named for the late dean of the Hartford jazz world. Casey and Dwonszyk are graduates, Garcia is in his senior year.
The Hartt School has been the center of much of Hartford’s arts scene for years, and continues to spur the growth of Hartford’s long-lived music centers. jazz venues like the site of Casey’s recording the Side Door are historic in the history of Hartford and of jazz- It is a location that gains more history with each piece of music that is played there.
Casey can be reached for bookings and more information at mikecaseyjazz.com.