Jazz saxophonist Mike Casey returns to his old Connecticut stomping grounds for a performance in Old Lyme this week. The performance coincides with the release of two new singles.
Casey said one of those singles, Venus, was inspired by the Netflix documentary series Zeitgeist.
“At the end, they propose a way forward for humanity called ‘The Venus Project,’” said Casey. “Fascinating ideas about how humans might coexist and live together. And I was so inspired by this that I wanted to write a peaceful prayer, really, for it.”
At just 26 years old, Casey is considered one of the real up-and-comers in the world of jazz.
His journey started in Hartford, where he studied jazz in high school at the Greater Hartford Academy for the Performing Arts. After high school, he continued his studies at the Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz at the Hartt School, working with jazz greats like Steve Davis and Nat Reeves.
Since then, Casey has performed all over the country and now all over the world.
When it comes to his own style of jazz, Casey calls himself a “melody poet.”
“So I’m always aiming for poetry in my lines, in how I construct my lines as a soloist, how I construct my lines as a composer, I am always reaching for lyricism,” he told Connecticut Public Radio.
Casey said he’s excited to bring his trio back to The Side Door in Old Lyme, where he recorded two live albums in 2016. He calls the venue magical.
“The acoustics are on par with any top venue, New York or otherwise,” he said. “It’s a pure listening room. It’s very intimate. The audience and the performers feel like they are together. It’s really, really a gem.”
The Mike Casey Trio performs Friday night at The Side Door Jazz Club in Old Lyme.