“Mica Bethea’s writing for large jazz ensemble incorporates the best of the genre’s contemporary tradition - Thad Jones, Bob Brookmeyer, Bob Mintzer, Maria Schneider - while forging ahead with an exquisite and singular voice. This is exciting and vital ensemble jazz for the 21st century. Kudos to Mica and his wonderful group of musicians on making a brilliant new statement.”
pianist/ educator/ Grammy nominee
“I am always delighted when I discover an artist who is new to me who makes a deep impression upon first listening to their music. It is not often that I hear newly written and arranged large jazz ensemble compositions that cover stylistic territory so convincingly and creatively. The writing is beautiful and colorful, always moving somewhere new, and the playing of this excellent and spirited ensemble teems with joy. The mastery and musicality is palpable.The lovely and plaintive "Birth Rite" is especially moving. I don't have enough superlatives for Mica's accomplishment here. This is a case where the music truly speaks for itself, and what it's saying to you will hit you hard and deep, right in your soul.”
“I am a product of UNF. I was there with Rich Matteson, Jack Peterson, Bill Prince and Bunky Green when this wonderful movement and first generation of Jazz at UNF in Jacksonville started. 28 years later, I must say that the flame is burning brighter than ever… This recording is first class. The arrangements by Mica are sophisticated, complex yet soulful. What a fantastic crew of cats to perform these great arrangements. This band is first class. One of those rare bands that can execute multiple styles… The writing is beyond original and spectacular.”
jazz educator/ trumpeter with the Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra
“Mica Bethea has roots in the music and culture of Jazz. That means America. Jazz is America, so that means you feel the blues, swing, rhythm, funk, fusion, toe-tapping, dancing, the past, present and the future. My own soul is encouraged to hear the skill and depth in his writing, and you can hear that it has attracted the finest musicians in the area in order to realize its potential.”
Professor of Jazz Trombone at Michigan State University
two-time grammy award winning trombonist
"Mica Bethea is a talented musician who has a distinctive flair for composition and arranging. His compositions tell an interesting tale with complexity, intrigue, and unexpected twists and turns. His arrangements are swinging and uplifting. This young man has a real solid voice with his writing that reflects a keen sense of dedication and focus. Keep an eye and ear on Mica. He is poised to go on to do great things"
Grammy winning big band leader/ saxophonist/ composer
professor of Jazz Studies University of Southern California
"There's a great balance between improvisation and composition. This balance is hard to strike and can be easily over looked. It about the whole, not simply it's parts. In short, Mica provides the right measure of space for his great soloist to become an integral part of the composition. …he and his wonderful band members have created a work of art."
Saxophonist / Former President IAJE /
Former director of Jazz Studies University of North Florida
"That's as good as it gets and stands up against anything in the country - and the world for that matter."
-Dr. William Prince
Professor Emeritus at University of North Florida / composer / multi-instramentalist