02/19/17 Dr. Michael White Miami Beach

Best Jazz SoFLA

Dr. Michael White – February Celebrating Mardi Gras. This is a FREE EVENT! Michael is a multifaceted, musicologist, jazz historian, educator, clarinet player, and bandleader, White and his band make an annual trip to New York’s Village Vanguard jazz club to perform on and around New Year’s Eve. But owing to his responsibilities as a professor at Xavier University, he and his band don’t get out of town that much.

White began playing clarinet in classical music settings, but eventually, the jazz bug overtook him and he began performing around New Orleans with various brass bands. Most notably, White hooked up with Doc Paulin, who led a ten-piece brass band. To offset the feast or famine nature of his income as a musician, he began teaching Spanish at Xavier University in 1980. In recent years, he’s been teaching New Orleans music and culture under an endowed chair at Xavier.

While the blues is fundamental to everything White does as a musician, the more he learns about New Orleans music and other music of the American south, the more he likes to push himself and his bandmates in different directions.

It is White‘s crystal-clear-toned clarinet playing that can be heard on Wynton Marsalis‘ critically hailed 1989 release, The Majesty of the Blues (Columbia Records). More recently, White worked with Marsalis, the artistic director for jazz at the Lincoln Center in New York, on A Tribute to Jelly Roll Morton, a series of concerts that were performed there. Whitealso served as musical director for concert tributes to King Oliver and Sidney Bechet that were collaborations with Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra.