To all the Star Wars (and pun) lovers out there, may the fourth be with you! Jazz saxophonist Mike Casey is clearly in the mood to celebrate International Star Wars Day today, as he just released a music video with the Mike Casey Trio—also featuring Corey Garcia and Matt Dwonszyk—for his original jazz number “Dagobah,” which takes its name and was inspired by the swamp planet from the Star Wars universe—Dagobah is the mysterious planet that Luke Skywalker travels to during Star Wars: Episode V to become a Jedi Master, studying under Yoda, who’s in hiding there following the destruction of the Jedi Order by the Galactic Republic.
Casey was a student at the many jazz institutes based in Hartford, including jazz saxophone legend Jackie McLean’s renowned school, the Jackie McLean Institute. When compared to more traditional meccas for jazz musicians, such as New York City and New Orleans, Casey finds parallels between himself and the protagonist of Star Wars’ original trilogy: “Similar to Dagobah, we have our world-renowned masters on faculty at local institutions that are ‘hiding out’ in Hartford, teaching & helping us get to the next level in between their own busy touring schedules. I saw parallels between my journey and Skywalker’s—studying to master our craft in an unlikely place.”
The video shows the Mike Casey Trio performing live at The SideDoor Jazz Club outside Hartford, Connecticut. The song captures the mystical feel of the planet, with the interplay between sax, drums, and bass carrying the tune’s dark and dramatic sound. “Dagobah” appears on Casey’s debut album, The Sound of Surprise: Live at The Side Door. You can listen to the Star Wars-inspired track below, as well as check out more information and upcoming dates on his website.
[Cover photo courtesy of Airen Miller Photography]