Michael Cascio is an accomplished band leader, producer, teacher and clinician in a broad range of styles – as one student put it, ‘The Indiana Jones of the music world.’ He has been performing jazz, pop/rock, and world music professionally 25 years with the likes of Ellis Marsalis, Clark Terry, Guitarra Azul, Brian Culbertson, Von Freeman, Skinny Williams and Kat Parsons Group to name a few.


For the past decade, Michael’s groups, the UpBeat Band, Michael Cascio Trio, Chicago R&B Machine, and Michael Cascio Orchestra have performed in clubs, corporate galas, weddings, social events, and festivals throughout Chicago land – UpBeat has performed for numerous celebrities and exceptional events, including Jennifer Aniston, Mayor Richard M. Daley, Vince Vaughn, and recently opened for Lionel Richie. Michael’s jazz groups include many of Chicago’s finest musicians, and perform in various clubs and stages all over Chicago land.



Michael Cascio (percussion, piano, vocals) graduated with honors from DePaul University where he earned a Bachelors degree in performance and composition. Michael has led his band for club dates and private events across Chicago land for over a decade, and is a bandleader, producer, and host – credits include band leading on the Odyssey, performing 150+ events annually since 2000, and has served as entertainment director for numerous venues at Navy Pier Chicago, including The Spirt of Chicago. Michael is an accomplished composer, arranger for all formats, session player, teacher, and clinician.


Before completing his BA AS degrees, Michael developed orchestral composition with world renowned Dr. George Flynn and contemporary arranging for brass and strings with CSO Music Now director Cliff Colnott – Michael has a wealth of experience arranging music and performing in a broad range of styles including orchestral chamber ensemble, jazz, pop, rock, R&B, etc. – this extensive, well rounded background is a testament to the quality and diversity of his band’s charts and performance.



Michael’s groups have performed extensively in the Chicago land area ranging from the largest galas at McCormick Place, Field Museum, etc. to the most intimate, Drake Hotel, Palmer house, Green Dolphin Street, etc. He has been performing jazz and pop professionally 25 years with the likes of Ellis Marsalis, Clark Terry, Big Band of Chicago, Frank Mantooth Big Band, Scott Stenten Group and Kat Parsons Group to name a few. Michael’s jazz groups include many of Chicago’s finest, such as Vijay Tellis-Nayak, Kevin Disch, Ben Lewis, Skinny Williams , Mike Finnerty and Anderson Edwards. He has performed and directed music theater works, ranging from the traditional, Annie Get Your Gun, to the contemporary, Lord Of the Dance.


Michael Cascio has performed and recorded chamber ensemble pieces for Cliff Colnot, Civic Orchestra. As a producer, recent recording examples include arrangements for Rich Paterson (of Miles Davis fame) Group, Gregg Opelka for American Playwrights at Studio Media and for his own group – Michael Cascio Trio, Out of Hand, on Bluejazz records. His world music credits include recording with Pitu Leal Brazil and Guitarra Azul. Michael composes for a variety of instruments, i.e., Firestorm and multiple percussion ensemble works published by Ludwig Music and Modern Drummer; he also arranges and publishes for music theater, most recently Soup Du Jour, for Light Opera Works.