Michael Eaton (b.1981) is a NYC based saxophonist, composer, and educator. As a saxophonist and improvising artist, his professional career to date has spanned a variety of idioms, encompassing jazz, free improvised music, soul, rock, western classical, funk, reggae, brass bands, and beyond. He embraces a progressive and holistic vision of jazz, cognizant of its rich historical origins and development, but reaches for a personal outlook with an eye towards future possibilities.
Michael’s Individuation Quartet has recorded two albums for the Destiny Records label. “Individuation” (2014) featured a special guest, NEA Jazz Master David Liebman. The second album, Dialogical, features guitarist Lionel Loueke (Blue Note Records), and is due out in late 2018. Other recent career highlights include recording saxophone and flute for Doyle Bramhall II’s “Rich Man” (Concord Records), as well as appearing on bassist Adam Minkoff’s arrangements of Igor Stravinsky for rock octet on “Til The End My Dear: Arrangements of Stravinsky”. In December 2017, Eaton and Minkoff produced “Interstellar Regions”, a concert of the late works of John Coltrane with David Liebman (saxophones), Marc Ribot (guitar), Jamie Saft (piano), Nick Anderson (drums), and Anthony Cole (drums) at National Sawdust. Michael has enjoyed a fruitful musical tenure in Beyond Group, a free improvised chamber group led by flutist Cheryl Pyle, featuring musicians like the late Bern Nix, Roberta Piket, Daniel Carter, Claire Daley, Hilliard Greene, and Newman Taylor Baker, with composer Carman Moore frequently conducting.
Michael graduated from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in 2004, and has been teaching single reeds and performing since that time. In his ten years living in NYC, he has had the opportunity to teach for a number of schools and institutions, and to date has had five students accepted into LaGuardia High School and one who was accepted to Frank Sinatra High School. His primary saxophone teachers include Eugene Rousseau, Tom Walsh, David Liebman, and Tim Timmons. He has also studied privately with James Moody, Ellery Eskelin, Ned Goold, Doug Webb, and Gary Foster.