Michael Dessen is a composer/trombonist who creates music for improvisers and explores technologies including live electronics, telematics and networked scores. As a composer-bandleader, he has received composition awards from organizations including Chamber Music America, New Music USA and the Fromm Foundation, and released recordings on labels such as Clean Feed, Cuneiform, Accretions and Circumvention. As a trombonist, Dessen’s original sound and broad skills have made him a valued sideperson and collaborator for many renowned musicians, and he also performs solo concerts on the digibone, a custom trombone-computer environment. He has been active since 2007 in the field of telematics, performing in over 30 networked concerts, composing for and co-directing large-scale productions with artists in South and North America, Korea, and Europe, and co-teaching networked music courses connecting youth between Colombia and California.
Dessen’s training includes diverse freelance experiences, graduate studies with Yusef Lateef, George E. Lewis, and Anthony Davis, and degrees from the Eastman School of Music (BM Performance), UMass Amherst (MM Jazz Composition) and UC San Diego (PhD Critical Studies and Experimental Practices). He has published writings on networked music, the Asian American creative music movement, and intercultural African diasporic collaboration, as well as a Preface to Yusef Lateef’s Songbook. A faculty member at the University of California, Irvine since 2006, Dessen co-founded a MFA and PhD program in Integrated Composition, Improvisation and Technology (ICIT), and served for four years as chair of the Music Department. For more information, please visit www.mdessen.com