Michael Dease was born in the countryside of Augusta, GA 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 new release, titled Decisions (2015 Posi-Tone), showcases his new compositions and a stellar quintet of musicians. Ubiquitous saxophonist Tim Green and legendary bassist Rodney Whitaker join rising luminaries Glenn Zaleski and Ulysses Owens in crafting a formidable unit capable of thunder and grace- whichever the music requires.
Dease has released six previous albums as a leader: The Takeover (2005), Clarity (2007), Dease Bones (2008), Grace (2010), Coming Home (2013 D Clef Records) and Relentless, his debut on the Posi-Tone record label.
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.
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.