Mike Casey Trio: Return to The Side Door
The rising career of Storrs-raised and Hartford-educated Mike Casey informs the rest of Connecticut about the quiet potency of the Hartford jazz scene. But the sax player/composer also has an affinity for Old Lyme’s Side Door Jazz Club, where he recorded his first album, “The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door.”
Now living in Philadelphia, Casey will return to the Side Door with his trio that includes Matt Dwonszyk on acoustic bass and Corey Garcia on drums Friday, April 27. They’ll play music from that album and his new one, “Stay Surprising: Live at the Side Door,” also recorded there on the same night as the first album in 2016. The sophomore album is being released track by track from April 10 (when “West End” was released, the title referring to the Hartford neighborhood where he lived for four years) through the final cut in the fall.
Casey attended the Greater Hartford Academy for the Performing Arts, with its notable alumni such as Jimmy Greene and members of The McLovins. He attended the Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz at the Hartt School of Music (University of Hartford) in 2011, where he studied with saxophonists such as Javon Jackson. In 2015, Casey was one of 24 young composers selected to participate in the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Program at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
The first album, with 500,000 streams in its first year, is an accessible, spare (no guitar or piano) and upbeat mix of rhythm, melody and contrast, and the vibe continues with the trio’s 2017 cover single “Norwegian Wood” (Live from Sofar Sounds NYC) and “West End.”
The Side Door Jazz Club located in the Old Lyme Inn, 85 Lyme St., Old Lyme, Friday, April 27, 8:30 p.m. $30. 860-434-2600. thesidedoorjazz.com