Derrick Michaels

Saxophonist | Composer | Educator

Baltimore-based tenor saxophonist whose approach is at once unapologetically lyrical and uncompromisingly dynamic. 

Oct
16
8:00 AM08:00

Daring Greatly @ An Die Musik

Derrick Michaels: Tenor Saxophone

Jacqueline Pollauf: Harp

Brent Madsen: Trumpet

Zach Swanson: Bass

Sets @ 8:00 & 9:30 pm

“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. I’ve stationed my tenor saxophone at the axis of a distinctive array of ensembles, 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.”

daring.jpg
View Event →

Sep
18
8:00 PM20:00

Family Bonding @ An Die Musik

Derrick Michaels-tenor saxophone

Erin Connelly-trumpet

Andrew Hadro-baritone saxophone

Nicole Connelly-trombone

“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. I’ve stationed my tenor saxophone at the axis of a distinctive array of ensembles, 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.”

Untitled Design.jpg
View Event →
Sep
11
7:00 PM19:00

Born From Silence @ Undercroft (Baltimore) [with Ledah Finck & UHHM)

Doors at 7:30, music 8-11! Cmon out for a wild array of Baltimore sounds

$5-10 sliding scale
Dry venue


UHHM
Nick, Chris, Jack. A head bangin footstompin polyrhythmic groove monster. Dig it.

Ledah Finck
Solo violin and viola musings about life, love death, hills and bugs. Mostly bugs.

Born From Silence
Derrick Michaels: Saxophone
John Dierker: Bass Clarinet
Zack Branch: Cello
Derek Wiegmann: Bass

View Event →
Aug
25
2:00 PM14:00

Nicole Connelly Quartet @ Goethe Institute "Jazz In The Basement" Series

Jazz in the Basement is a monthly concert series featuring local jazz artists, organized by the DC Public Library and curated by Bertrand Uberall and John Cook. The concerts are intended to highlight young artists, new composers, or unique jazz sounds to broaden the listening landscape of our Washington, DC audiences. DC Public Library is a proud supporter of our local music community and looks forward to expanding valuable resources to assist musicians in their creative and professional endeavors.

This June, we are excited to present trombonist Nicole Connelly and her quartet featuring Derrick Michaels (tenor sax), Dominic Smith (drums), and Max Murray (bass). The program will include a number of compositions by German avant-garde trombonist Albert Mangelsdorff, as well as other pieces.

Admission for the concert is free; limited seating is available on a first come, first served basis.

Nicole Connelly (trombone)
Derrick Michaels (tenor sax)
Dominic Smith (drums)
Max Murray (bass)

nicole.jpg
View Event →
Aug
14
8:00 PM20:00

The Great Unfolding @ An Die Musik

Derrick Michaels-tenor saxophone

John Dierker-reeds

Chris Pumphrey-piano & saxophone

Mike Kuhl-drums

“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. I’ve stationed my tenor saxophone at the axis of a distinctive array of ensembles, 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.”

sets at 8:00 & 9:30

View Event →
Aug
11
1:00 PM13:00

Dreame Wagner, Michaels, Venman, Ng @ Unnameable Books (BKNY)


Jasmine Dreame Wagner, Derrick Michaels, Warren Ng, and Killian Venman will perform pictorial scores composed by Dreame Wagner as part of composer Bobby Previte's improvisation workshop. The scores for saxophone, synthesizer, guitar, and percussion create conduits for a synthesis of poetic, visual, and sonic forms. Taking shape as illustrations, poems, graphics and word clouds, Dreame Wagner’s scores are synaesthetic instruction manuals for and against domestic spaces.

The Portable Boog Reader 12: New York City Poetry & Music Festival
Sunday, August 11, 2019 @ 1-3pm
Unnameable Books
600 Vanderbilt Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11238
http://unnameablebooks.blogspot.com/

books.jpg
View Event →
Aug
9
7:30 PM19:30

"Studies In Gravities": A Concert of New Music @ Current Space (Baltimore)

Join us for a night of playful new music and improvisation performed by a LOT of people.

Reedswarm
An ensemble of approximately 14 musicians on low reed instruments buzzing and rumbling and wailing on new compositions by James Young and Jessica Keyes.

Signal Towers
A large ensemble of directional instruments playing a new composition by Patrick McMinn.

Before, Beside, Within
An improvisational chamber quartet featuring Zack Branch (cello), Jamal Moore (bass clarinet), Derrick Michaels (tenor saxophone), and Derek Wiegmann (double bass). The music comes from exploring how the relationship we have with ourselves changes and evolves--whether we are aware of it or not.

Current Space
$5-$10, doors at 7:30pm

IMG_0110.jpg
View Event →
Jul
11
11:00 AM11:00

Baltimore Jazz Education Project (Guest Clinician)

Thank you to Greg Thompkins & the Baltimore Jazz Education Project for having me as a guest clinician this year!

Baltimore Jazz Education Project (BJEP) will host a Saxophone and Jazz Workshop Monday July 8th through July 11th 11 am to 2pm at Arundel Mills Music and Arts 7550 Teague Rd. Suite 115 Hanover MD 21076

The event is Free. We welcome all Saxophonists. Message me for more info.

Our guest teachers will be John Thomas, Jamal Moore, Sarah Hughes, Lori Fowser, Derrick Michaels, Nathan Shumaker. Guest Rhythm Section: Chuck Ferrell, Billy Monroe, Skip Grasso”

promo.jpg
View Event →
May
29
8:00 PM20:00

Derrick Michaels 4 + Marian McLaughlin @ Zissimo's Upstairs

A new scene is growing in Baltimore, where folks are brought together around the celebration of the moment, and the energy & spirit of a musical performance is of greater importance than the category or genre of the music itself. Musicians from all backgrounds are able to present music together without concern of pleasing a specialized “target” audience - this is because the audiences are waking up, and looking to connect dots...opening their ears and minds, welcoming new and unusual combinations of compelling artists. Zissimo’s upstairs (the Lou Costello Room) is one such venue catering to this new and improved approach to building community.

Doors @ 7:30, music starts @ 8:00pm

Sets:

1. Marian McLaughlin
(Exploratory songwriter)
Marianmclaughlin.com

2. Dominic Fragman
(Solo duo improvisations)
Dominicfragman.com

3. Derrick Michaels 4
(Tectonic & atmospheric improvisations)
Derrick Michaels-saxophone
John Dierker-reeds
Tim Houston-guitar
Mike Ross-drums
Derrickmichaelsmusic.com

$5-10 suggested donation

View Event →
Apr
24
8:00 PM20:00

Blood Moon Quintet @ An Die Musik

DM & Ellery Eskelin-

tenor saxophones

Theljon Allen-trumpet

Susan Alcorn-pedal steel guitar

Eric Kennedy-drums

A quintet of highly expressive improvisers, stalwarts of both local and international renown. I could not be more excited to unite the innovative veteran improvisers Ellery Eskelin & Susan Alcorn with two of my absolute favorite Baltimore jazz musicians, Theljon Allen & Eric Kennedy, for what promises to be a one-of-a-kind performance!

Blood Moon Quintet.PNG
View Event →
Mar
20
8:00 PM20:00

Trio Xolo @ An Die Musik

DM-tenor saxophone

Zachary Swanson-bass

Dalius Naujo-drums

Trio Xolo is a telepathic improvising unit, based in Baltimore & Brooklyn. This performance will follow our first recording session at Big Orange Sheep Studio, for projected release later in 2019. Zach Swanson is my longest musical collaborator, boasting a huge tone & personal language that spans the diverse landscape of improvised music. Dalius Naujo is a dynamic, creative, and virtuosic drummer, in a league of his own.

xolo.JPG
View Event →
Feb
27
8:30 PM20:30

Punk Jazz @ Zissimo's in Hampden

8:45 SET

Ambit Orbit

“Cinematic post-jazz explorations, compositional & improvisational shapeshifting.”

https://ambitorbit.bandcamp.com/

Liam Hurlbut-tenor saxophone

Kyle Vinton-trumpet

Nick Saia-guitar

Jason Cohen-drums

10PM SET

Michaels/Lipscomb/Dierker/Kuhl

“Terrestrial Contractions & Celestial Expansions from a zealous quartet of stalwart improvisers.”

https://www.derrickmichaelsmusic.com/

https://derrickmichaels.bandcamp.com/

https://jonlipscomb.bandcamp.com/

Derrick Michaels-tenor saxophone

John Dierker-reeds

Jon Lipscomb-guitar

Mike Kuhl-drums

IMG_7077.jpg
View Event →
Feb
13
to Feb 14

ADULT CONTENT (for hopeless romantics) @ An Die Musik

DM-tenor saxophone

Savino Palumbo-piano

Alex Weber-bass

Dominic Smith-drums

A personalized repertoire of songs from the Great American Songbook, this is an unapologetic celebration of romance and tenderness in the Millennial Age, and a Valentine’s Day tribute to the expressive beauty of the tenor saxophone throughout its history in jazz. To evolve this tradition into the 21st century, the rhythm section must play an equal role in the expression of the music. Reaching beyond the storied “soloist with rhythm section” paradigm allows the classic saxophone/piano quartet formation to bloom into an improvised chamber ensemble of impressive dynamic capacity.

adult.PNG
View Event →
Jan
23
8:00 PM20:00

"Hot Air & Horse Hair" @ An Die Musik

Derrick Michaels-tenor saxophone

John Dierker-reeds

Tom Swafford-violin

Zachary Swanson-bass

Derek Wiegmann-bass

“Hot Air & Horse Hair” is an improvised chamber music ensemble - comprised of improvisers from Baltimore, MD and Brooklyn, NY. While this ensemble has never yet performed in this configuration, there are deep musical bonds across the group which will serve as fertile creative soil. While each performer is a compelling instrumentalist in their own right, the strength in each of these musicians is in their varied, supple, and compelling interjections - both as soloists and accompanists.

Sets at 8pm & 9:30pm

horsehair.png
View Event →
Dec
19
9:00 PM21:00

Derrick Michaels Quartet @ Bertha's

There is an invisible line that many traditionalists trace between styles of jazz performance. This line, while invisible, is palpable. On one side of the line, there is “correct” jazz vocabulary, played in a convincing manner, with enough emotion to instigate nostalgia in the listener, keeping the music of yesteryear alive and well. On the other side of the line are the outliers…the ones who perceive the jazz tradition to be rooted in a creative process, rather than a style or idiom. These outliers are more likely to risk going off the rails while reaching for something that may never have been played before - accepting mistakes as a part of the process. This, too is jazz. This, too, is tradition. On this night, we will offer music from the outlier perspective. We are creating spontaneous music, unafraid to draw inspiration from the tradition of jazz, and equally unafraid to stick a monkey wrench in its spokes.

DM-tenor saxophone

John Dierker-clarinets

Derek Wiegmann-bass

Michael Vincent Ross-drums

View Event →
Dec
13
8:00 PM20:00

DM Standards Quartet @ An Die Musik

The Avant Garde is about subverting expectations. Which limitations must an artist place on their creative forays, in order to communicate their story? The Avant Garde is not a style of music - it is an approach to life and art which is unpredictable, and rooted in an expression of the deepest parts of our humanity.

My music is often labeled as “avant garde” by folks promoting my performances. While this is not a label that offends me in the least, I do hesitate to fully embrace that descriptor. Admittedly - In the bands I assemble, the conventions of “jazz” tradition are often reimagined, sometimes even circumvented. This is done in order to be true to the moment - nothing more, nothing less. We are simply playing what we hear! This does not, however, indicate that song forms are ignored, or the rules of melody, harmony, and phrasing are disregarded. It means that we are taking extra care to pay attention to details and subtlety within our delivery of this music.

This particular concert will present an eschewing of my “avant garde” label - allowing me to reimagine my creative role as a storyteller: delivering and interpreting standard selections from the jazz canon, with a band that is unapologetically SWINGING. If the avant garde is about defying expectations, then it feels like a subversive action for me, anytime book a night of JAZZ that simply swings. The goal here is to be as free in the interpretations and improvisations that we would be if we were off the grid the whole evening. There’s freedom in the moment. Even when you recognize the tunes we are playing.

DM-tenor saxophone

Joshua Espinoza-piano

Alex Weber-bass

Chris Barrick-drums

View Event →
Dec
7
8:00 PM20:00

Improvisational Duos @ The Music Space

Headrest

Experimental Ambient Music from Baltimore MD

Tim Houston- Guitar and Effects 
Jake Finck- Guitar and Effects

Derrick Michaels/Phillip Greenlief

Two tenor saxophonists who hail from Baltimore and San Francisco, respectively - join forces for the first time, bringing with them the sum total of their individual life experiences, and weaving sonic tapestries together in real time.

Savino Palumbo/Chris Pumphrey

Piano/Rhodes duets from two of the most formidable keyboardists/improvisers in Baltimore.

“The Music Space was founded in 2015 to provide an open, creative environment for music lessons and recording in a professional studio.”

View Event →
Dec
4
to Dec 5

Derrick Michaels Trio @ Bertha's

To swing in music is a powerful creative act. To accept responsibility for creativity in our lives, from moment-to-moment, is a revolutionary act. To be creative and connected in the moment and the music is what it means to swing.

DM-tenor saxophone

Alex Weber-bass

Dominic Smith-drums

View Event →