New Derrick Michaels Series for 2020: "Posture of Possibility"
Creating a Space for Creative Contribution -
An Inclusive Music Series Showcasing Young Improvisers
“In the measurement world, you set a goal and strive for it. In the universe of possibility, you set the context and let life unfold.” ? Benjamin Zander (Musical Director and Conductor - Boston Philharmonic Orchestra)
"The wholehearted expression of music has the potential to uplift the spirit and heal our hearts. These 12 concerts are representative of a creative continuum which is designed to challenge convention & elude classification. Accordingly, I have selected 12 young musical leaders under the age of 30 to lead adventurous performances, putting full trust in improvisation as a potent unifying force across musical boundaries. The mission is to deliver music of substance, embracing the community while affirming the exceptionally personal nature of creative process for the improvising musician." -- Derrick Michaels
The first quarter dates of this monthly Sunday series are
Jan 19, Feb 16. Mar 8
Short Solo improvisation from Featured Performer Erin Connelly followed by:
Derrick Michaels-tenor saxophone
John Dierker-bass clarinet
*15 minute intermission *
Set 2: Erin Connelly, Derrick Michaels, and special guests!
Baltimore-based musician Erin Connelly embarked on her trumpet-playing journey at the age of 10. It wasn’t until age 16 that she was inspired to study jazz – sparked by the fortuitous purchase of “Chet Baker Sings” from the dollar bin in her local record shop. The beauty, vulnerability, and romance that permeated that record immediately compelled her to pursue trumpet as a vehicle for her own self-expression. This led her to pursue formal jazz studies at Litchfield Jazz Camp, where she studied with acclaimed trumpeters Russ Johnson, and Claudio Roditi. Hooked on the magic of this music, Connelly moved to Baltimore, MD to pursue a degree in Jazz trumpet performance from Towson University in 2012.
While attending Towson University, Connelly studied under esteemed trumpeter, Dave Ballou, with further studies in improvisation, jazz repertoire and arranging with trombonist Jim McFalls, pianist Tim Murphy, and bassist Jeff Reed. As part of the Bill and Helen Murray Jazz Residency program, Erin was privileged to partake in private lessons and clinics with a veritable “who’s who” of internationally renowned improvisers: Ellery Eskelin, Drew Gress, Matt Wilson, Jeff Lederer, Ralph Alessi, Tony Malaby, Ingrid Laubrock, Kris Davis, Mary Halvorson, and David Liebman. The creative coaching of these venerable contemporary jazz masters primed Connelly to push her own personal and musical boundaries, instilling a work ethic that embraces limitations as the starting point for growth.
Recent performances include: “Derrick Michaels Presents” series at An Die Musik, Out of Your Head Collective, Creative Music Consortium, Interstella LIVE LIVE LIVE – a 14-piece daft punk cover band, Brad Linde ensemble, Yellow Dwelling, and The Oddness of Pulchritude - an ensemble wholly dedicated to preserving and advancing the expressive and melodic potential of the great American songbook and beyond.
Erin earned a Bachelor’s degree in Jazz/Commercial Trumpet Performance from Towson University in 2016.
is a Baltimore-based tenor saxophonist, composer, concert presenter, educator, and an inexorable force in the creative music community. Boasting a rich, expressive tone and a propensity for dynamic performance, Michaels harnesses the primordial impulse to create - bringing a kaleidoscopic process of melodic architecture to a myriad of egalitarian improvisational ensembles. His 2019 concert series “Derrick Michaels Presents” showcased 28 brilliant improvisers from Baltimore and New York City, delivering 12 engaging improvised concerts full of depth, nuance, sensitivity, and imagination.
Michaels communicates with vitality, romanticism, and reckless abandon - enveloping listeners into the process of his music as it unfolds into the present moment. His deeply personal approach to performance & instruction favors expressive nuance over idiomatic reverence, invoking the rich expressive history of the tenor saxophone while refracting it through his own prism of creative purpose. Each performance both demonstrates & defies his strong roots in jazz by plunging unapologetically into the unknown.