Indie saxophonist Mike Casey Pittsburgh debut on May 16th

The Mike Casey Trio

Wednesday, May 16, 2018 @ 8 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

 (1.5 hrs. approximate run time)

Join us for an evening of jazz with The Mike Casey Trio!

Casey and his trio showcase everything that’s great about jazz music today with zany bass lines and a towering sax marching along the tracks narrative.”— Josh Mason, Somewhere Soul (UK)

A unique jazz group not only in their musical approach but in instrumentation as well, The Mike Casey Trio features Mike on saxophones, Matt Dwonszyk on acoustic bass, and Corey Garcia on drums – three of the brightest young rising stars in jazz. The absence of guitar or piano, which is typically found in a jazz group, gives the band a very distinctive sound: earthy and accessible, yet mature, refined, exciting, upbeat – and full of surprises. Mike’s recent self-released debut “The Sound of Surprise” has surpassed 300,000 streams worldwide in the first year since its February 2017 release – unheard for a jazz debut without record label backing. Performing modern original music and creative re-imaginations of jazz classics and pop songs like Norwegian Wood and We Are The Champions with power, passion, and purpose, the Mike Casey Trio appeals to both jazz aficionados and casual music fans.

Internationally known, Philly based saxophonist Mike Casey is proud to announce his sophomore album, Stay Surprising: Live at The Side Door, to be released track by track from April-Nov 2018. Casey and his longtime trio present a  earthy, dynamic, surprising follow up to his 2017 debut, The Sound of Surprise: Live at The Side Door.


The Stay Surprising tour comes to Pittsburgh’s storied City of Asylum arts center for a free show on May 16th at 8PM, straight from releasing the first single from the forthcoming album “West End” premiered by Downbeat (the biggest jazz publication in the world) and breaking 50,000 streams worldwide in less than a month since its April 10th release.


Mike Casey doesn’t stop. Straight from his recently released, critically acclaimed February 2017 debut, “The Sound of Surprise: Live at The Side Door”, Mike Casey has been taking the jazz world (and beyond) by storm, with notable mentions from icons Sonny Rollins & Quincy Jones Productions, features from JAY Z’s TIDAL, @NPRMusic/WBGO, Jazz in Europe (2x), Sofar Sounds NYC, Canada’s Jazz da Gama, Spotify, Deezer, Live for Live Music (album review / video premiere), and more. Mike was featured as the cover image for Spotify’s ‘State of Jazz’ playlist (sandwiched between cover features from icons like Brian Blade, Dr. Lonnie Smith and Chick Corea) and the album has surpassed 500,000 streams worldwide since its February 2017 release – no small feat for a fully independent instrumental jazz debut – recorded live, no less – without any label, management, or booking agent support.. Major coffee brand Peet’s Coffee has been featuring the album on their official Pandora station, broadcasting to 250 locations nationwide, and Mike’s September 2017 single Norwegian Wood (Live from Sofar Sounds NYC) already has surpassed 300,000 streams worldwide.


The album release tour was capped on a high note with Brooklyn’s BRIC Jazz Fest (one of NYC’s top jazz festivals) in October, on the bill with notable artists such as Maceo Parker (of James Brown fame), Sun Ra Arkestra, Miles Mosley & the West Coast Get Down (of Kamasi Washington fame), Vijay Iyer, Regina Carter, Butcher Brown and more.


The Pittsburgh debut is apropos for Casey, who according to Spotify artist analytics, already has listeners in PGH. “Pittsburgh has a great tradition of jazz, live music, and arts in general – so I’m very excited to perform in PGH for the first time”, says Casey.


Both The Sound of Surprise and Stay Surprising were recorded live the same fateful night at The Side Door Jazz Club in Old Lyme, CT in 2016. 14 first takes were the result, so Casey decided to split it into two albums. The Sound of Surprise leans a bit more towards Mike’s alto saxophone stylings and covers, while Stay Surprising leans more on his tenor toughness and original music – a natural development for Mike, who loves writing music but eschews the high brow term ‘composer’, calling himself  a saxophonist & songwriter.


Since its opening in 2013, the Side Door has established itself as one of the premier jazz clubs in the world, having been recognized in Downbeat Magazine’s 2016 international list of top jazz clubs. The club features a steady performance roster of jazz greats and rising stars. With its pristine acoustics, knowledgeable staff and particularly attentive audience, the Side Door is especially conducive to creating. For Casey, choosing to record his debut at the Side Door was particularly apropos, considering the experience he has gained there sitting in with the likes of JD Allen, Nat Reeves, Justin Kauflin, and other world-class musicians.


While 2017 may have been Casey’s formal introduction with 2018 his followup, he has hard at work building his rep since he began attending the prestigious Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz at the Hartt School of Music (University of Hartford, CT ) in 2011. Shortly before graduating in 2015, Casey was one of 24 worldwide selected by Jason Moran to participate in the prestigious Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Program at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.  His resume includes DJ Logic, Charles Tolliver, Brandee Younger, Benito Gonzalez, Zaccai Curtis, Tarus Mateen, Duane Eubanks, Nat Reeves and Marc Cary, whose project “The Harlem Sessions” features Casey as an original member. Through his apprenticeship with Cary, he’s performed on notable stages such as Lincoln Center, Marcus Samuelsson’s Ginny’s Supper Club, NYC SummerStage, and Cape May’s Exit Zero Jazz Festival. In fall 2016, he sold out his NYC debut as a leader at the legendary Minton’s jazz club in Harlem, and crowdfunded his debut The Sound of Surprise 124% funded using PledgeMusic.

Recently featured by Spotify as the cover image for its official ‘State of Jazz’ playlist with 150,000 subscribers after Brian Blade and before Dr. Lonnie Smith & Chick Corea, Casey and his trio are poised to claim their stake as a household name in jazz and beyond.”

“He seems not to brandish his saxophone as a weapon of war, but rather he makes music out of great gulps of air, which are delivered through its reed, softened by the song. And he always makes you want to listen.”

— Raul da Gama, Jazz da Gama (Canada)

Find out more at:

Stream Mike’s latest single ‘West End’ on Dropbox or Spotify, Apple Music, and more