Michael Dessen

Composer and trombonist Michael Dessen Links creates highly interactive, improvisatory music in collaboration with leading artists, while also working as a university professor to expand institutional spaces and partnerships for cultural innovation.

As a composer, he has been recognized with awards from Chamber Music America, New Music USA and the Fromm Foundation, and as a trombonist, his original sound and broad skills have made him a valued sideperson and collaborator for many creative musicians. Active since 2007 in the field of networked music, Dessen has participated in dozens of telematic concerts, composing new works and co-directing large-scale productions with collaborators in South and North America, South Korea and Europe. He also co-directs Puentes Telem√°ticos / Telematic Bridges, a course that connects Latinx and Latin American youth in California and Colombia to introduce improvisation, composition and technology and explore the intercultural potentials of telepresent collaboration.

Dessen has published writings on topics including networked music, the Asian American creative music movement and intercultural African diasporic collaboration. His music training includes diverse freelance experiences, graduate studies with Yusef Lateef, George E. Lewis, and Anthony Davis, and degrees from UC San Diego (PhD), UMass Amherst (MM) and the Eastman School of Music (BM). As a faculty member at UC Irvine since 2006, he co-founded an MFA and PhD program in Integrated Composition, Improvisation and Technology (ICIT), has served as chair of the Department of Music, and is currently Jazz Program Coordinator and Director of the Gassmann Electronic Music Studios. For more information, please visit www.mdessen.com.

Courses at UCI

Professor Dessen teaches graduate-level courses in Improvisation/Composition, Creative Research Practices, Contemporary Ensemble, Networked and Telematic Music, and Critical Studies. His undergraduate courses include Jazz Orchestra, Jazz Combo, Improvisation, Jazz Trombone, Introduction to Music (GE), Musicianship, and Composition. View selected course syllabi here

Professor and Interim Robert & Marjorie Rawlins Chair of Music
Jazz Program Coordinator; Core faculty, Integrated Composition, Improvisation and Technology (ICIT)
(949) 824-6615
3023 Contemporary Arts Center (CAC)