"It's kindof blowing my mind that I don't have sticky keys anymore. I used to have to unstick and check three or four keys before playing and now I don't have to do that anymore. And everything stays consistent for longer because the keys don't stick."
An award-winning, fully independent songwriter, saxophonist, and teaching artist with over a million streams worldwide, Mike is bringing the joy of “jazz” across genre lines to a diverse audience around the world. On a mission to be a passionate vessel for “jazz” in the 21st century, Mike is demanding audiences’ attention with his searing, multi dimensional sound – whether bringing down the house with a re-imaginations of diverse future classics like Kanye West/Jay-Z’s No Church In The Wild, Soundgarden’s Spoonman, or making the crowd swoon on an original ballad.
Mike took to the saxophone like a fish to water in 5th grade. Eager to expand his musical horizons, he attended the Greater Hartford Academy for the Performing Arts in high school, where he studied in its sought-after jazz program, with alumni like Jimmy Greene, Josh Evans, The Curtis Brothers, and members of West End Blend.
He was awarded a full scholarship to attend the renowned Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz at the Hartt School of Music (University of Hartford), studying with respected jazz artists such as Abraham Burton, Rene McLean, Javon Jackson, Steve Davis, and Nat Reeves. Shortly before graduating in 2015, Casey was one of 24 young composers selected worldwide by Jason Moran to participate in the prestigious Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Program at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., where he studied with an all-star faculty including Eric Harland, JD Allen, Eric Revis, Carmen Lundy, Andre Hayward, Cyrus Chestnut, and Jason Moran, the Kennedy Center’s Artistic Director for Jazz.
Since then, Mike has performed with artists as diverse as DJ Logic, Nat Reeves, Benito Gonzalez, Brandee Younger, Zaccai Curtis, Tarus Mateen, Duane Eubanks, Justin Faulkner, and Marc Cary, through his project “The Harlem Sessions”. Through his apprenticeship with Cary (which began just two months after graduating from Hartt in 2015), he has performed at the NYC Winter Jazz Fest, Lincoln Center, NYC SummerStage, celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson’s Ginny’s Supper Club, and Cape May’s Exit Zero Jazz Festival. After selling out his NYC debut as a leader at the legendary Minton’s in September 2016, Casey went on to accomplish an incredible feat: his PledgeMusic crowdfunding campaign for “The Sound of Surprise” reached 124% funded and was covered by leading music industry blogs such as Hypebot & CDBaby. "The Sound of Surprise” was recorded in early 2016 at the Side Door in Old Lyme, Connecticut, which Downbeat Magazine calls 'one of the best jazz clubs worldwide'. His trio's format is inspired (but not bound) by jazz icon Sonny Rollins, the pioneer of the "pianoless" saxophone trio - which is evidenced in this 2014 video featuring Rollins and Casey in conversation.