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Michael Eaton

Piano, Brass, Woodwind

Michael Eaton is an NYC-based saxophonist, composer, and educator. He embraces a progressive and holistic vision of jazz but reaches for a personal outlook with an eye towards future possibilities. Although mainly active in jazz and free improvised music, Michael’s career has included performances in rock, soul, Western classical, funk, reggae, brass bands, and beyond.

Michael’s Individuation Quartet has recorded two albums for the Destiny Records label: Individuation (2014) with NEA Jazz Master David Liebman and Dialogical (2019) with guitarist Lionel Loueke. Individuation’s third studio outing, The Phenomenal, will be released in May 2024 and features Dave Scott and Tim Hagans on trumpets plus Judi Silvano on voice. His free jazz + groove ensemble Tenor Triage, with saxophonists James Brandon Lewis and Sean Sonderegger plus alumni of Ornette Coleman, Brad Jones and G. Calvin Weston, released Tenor Triage (2019) on Ropeadope Records. Michael and pianist Nicki Adams have a modern jazz + third stream duo for saxophone and piano, Paraphrase, which released Paraphrase (2022) on Steeplechase Records. Their follow up, The Transcendental, will release on March 15, 2024.

Some other discographical highlights include saxophone and flute on Doyle Bramhall II’s Rich Man (Concord Records, 2016); alto sax on Adam Minkoff’s rock octet version of Igor Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, released on CD as Til The End My Dear: Arrangements of Stravinsky; and flute for the Progressive Bass Playbook from Kurt Morgan (Dweezil Zappa). Eaton sometimes performs concerts of the late music of John Coltrane, and in 2017 he and Minkoff produced Interstellar Regions at Brooklyn’s National Sawdust with David Liebman (saxophones), Marc Ribot (guitar), Jamie Saft (piano), Nick Anderson (drums), and Anthony Cole (drums).

Michael graduated from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in 2004. In sixteen years of living in NYC, he has had the opportunity to teach for a number of institutions. Eight of his woodwind students have been accepted into LaGuardia High School, one into Frank Sinatra High School, one to Talent Unlimited, and one to Mark Twain School. He has also had students perform or be accepted into All City Band, Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Middle School Jazz Academy, the New York Summer Arts program, and the Jazz Standard Jazz for Kids program.

Michael’s primary saxophone teachers were Eugene Rousseau, Tom Walsh, David Liebman, and Tim Timmons, but he also studied privately with James Moody, Tony Malaby, Steve Coleman, Ellery Eskelin, Ned Goold, Doug Webb, and Gary Foster.

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