Originally from Detroit, Michael Hudson-Casanova is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, improviser, and educator quickly becoming a staple in the Chicago jazz and creative music scene. His debut album as a leader, Echoes of Thought (2021), has been praised as “…an exceptional record by a killer band,” by All About Jazz. His music blends traditional and contemporary jazz concepts, and always leaves plenty of room for dynamic improvisation with carefully chosen bandmates.
Hudson-Casanova has received awards, scholarships, and grants for his music, including individual artist grants from Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and the Illinois Arts Council Agency to record and produce his second album, Animus. He also received the Ramon Zupko grant in 2015 for the creation of an interdisciplinary work of original music and dance, and the Vice Provost for the Arts grant in 2018 and 2019 to record music by Crosscurrents Ensemble. In October of 2022, he was featured as a soloist with the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra for their production of “Charlie Parker: With Strings.”
Hudson-Casanova has appeared at venues across the United States as a leader and a sideman, including Chris’ Jazz Cafe, South Jazz Kitchen, Cliff Bell’s, Silvana, The Green Mill, Cafe CODA, Elastic Arts, and more. He has appeared on his colleagues’ records as a sideman, most notably Elliot Bild’s ISMS (2020).
As an educator, Hudson-Casanova has maintained a studio of saxophone, flute, and clarinet players of all ages for over ten years. He believes music is for everyone, and works to help his students maintain a positive relationship with music. He teaches for institutions like Common Time Music School and Ravinia Sistema.