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Fri, Sep 29


Merrimans' Playhouse

Michael HC - Animus Quartet

Touring from Chicago. Michael Hudson-Casanova’s quartet featuring James Davis on trumpet, Gustavo Cortiñas on drums, and Erik Skov on guitar plays music from their recent album entitled “Animus.” The group explores original music in the no-bass format, giving them a wide open sound.

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Michael HC - Animus Quartet
Michael HC - Animus Quartet

Time & Location

Sep 29, 2023, 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM

Merrimans' Playhouse, 401 E Colfax Ave, Suite 135, South Bend, IN 46617, USA


About the Event

TICKETS are $10 General/$5 Student.

Michael Hudson-Casanova’s quartet featuring James Davis on trumpet, Gustavo Cortiñas on drums, and Erik Skov on guitar plays music from their recent album entitled “Animus.” The group explores original music in the no-bass format, giving them a wide open sound with endless sonic possibilities.


Michael Hudson-Casanova - saxophones

James Davis - trumpet

Eric Skov - guitar

Gustavo Cortiñas - drums

Michael Hudson-Casanova is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, and educator originally from Sterling Heights, MI and currently residing in Chicago. He holds degrees from Western Michigan University and Temple University in jazz studies and music education, and has been working professionally in a variety of musical settings since 2010.

Hudson-Casanova is a member of the American Composer’s Forum, and a recipient of several grants and scholarships for his music. He teaches for celebrated institutions like Common Time Music School, and has given clinics and performances at Mott Community College and various higher leaning institutions. He has studied closely with Andrew Rathbun, Edward Simon, Dick Oatts, Ben Schachter and Norman David, and shared the stage with Fred Hersch, Billy Hart, and Miguel Zenon.

Hudson-Casanova released his debut album as leader, Echoes of Thought, in 2021. He has also released interdisciplinary works involving his original music, dance, and multimedia.

Michael Hudson-Casanova is a saxophonist, composer, and improviser originally from Detroit and currently growing as a member of the Chicago jazz scene. He has appeared as a leader and a sideman at venues across the country including Chris’ Jazz Cafe, South Jazz Kitchen, An Die Musik, and The Green Mill. In October, 2021 he released his debut album as a leader, Echoes of Thought, which has been praised as “…an exceptional record by a killer band” by All About Jazz. He has also released collaborative projects involving improvised music and dance with his wife, Sarah Rot. Hudson-Casanova is currently working on the release of his second recording as a leader, which is set to release in March, 2023 on Passerine Records. This album has received support from Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE).

James Davis, a Chicago trumpeter and music maker, is comfortable in and enjoys exploring a wide array of musical environments.  As a composer, improviser, and educator he is involved in a diverse blend of musical communities in the Chicagoland area. In addition to leading different formations of his own groups, Davis has also recently collaborated and/or recorded with Matt Ulery, Rob Clearfield, The Chicago Jazz Orchestra, Chris Dammann's Restroy, The Metropolitan Jazz Octet, The Heritage Jazz Orchestra, The New Standard Jazz Orchestra, as well as The Glenn Miller Band and Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. He has performed at many of Chicago’s premier performance venues including The Chicago Jazz Festival, The Green Mill and Jazz Showcase. James’ playing has been heard at famed venues and festivals around the world including The Kennedy Center, The Montreaux Jazz Festival, The North Sea Jazz Festival, and the Montreal Jazz Festival. James has earned recognition as a finalist both in the 2004 International Trumpet Guild Jazz Improvisation Competition and the 2007 Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Competition and has completed degrees at the University of Texas at Arlington, and at the University of North Texas. At UNT, James had the opportunity to tour and record with the Grammy nominated One O’clock Lab Band and the UNT Wind Symphony. James’ playing and compositions are featured on his newest album Disappearing Roads, his 2014 release Beveled, the James Davis Quintet album Angles of Refraction, the avant-rock/jazz/improv band Zing!’s, Magnetic Flux, multiple albums with Albertan drummer Karl Schwonik, among others. He is currently on faculty at Triton College, Wheaton College, and Harold Washington College. James lives in Chicago with his wife Julie and their daughter Josephine.

Erik Skov is a jazz guitarist, educator, and composer working in the Chicago area. As a graduate of North Central College (BA in Jazz Studies, minor in Anthropology, 2011) and Northwestern University (M.M. in Jazz Studies, 2015), Skov has established himself as an up and coming new voice for jazz guitar. An experienced performer on guitar, as well as banjo, Skov has been able to work professionally with top musicians and composers in the jazz and classical worlds. Skov’s most recent project, Liminality, is a six piece jazz ensemble that features saxophonist Dustin Laurenzi, trumpeter Emily Kuhn, trombonist Euan Edmonds, bassist Kitt Lyles, and drummer Gustavo Cortinas. The ensemble’s name, Liminality, comes from the anthropological term relating to the middle stages of a ritual or rite. In this stage, the participants have left their previous state and have begun a transformative process that will lead to the desired rewards. Skov’s album aims to celebrate music as the state of liminality, a lifelong musical process aimed at connecting and communicating with others.

A graduate of Loyola University New Orleans (BM Jazz, Minor in  Philosophy), and Northwestern University (MM  Jazz), Gustavo Cortiñas has developed a successful career in the  US for over a decade, leading and accompanying ensembles in renowned  stages and festivals in North America, Latin America, Asia, and Europe. “Cortiñas' music is uplifting, robust, melodic, and gets your body moving; it's an  exciting blend of the artist's musical influences from jazz and Latin  America, including his native Mexico" (DOWNBEAT). This can be heard on his records as a leader, "Snapshot" (2013), "a  Smörgåsbord of the moods and nuances that make up the human  experience... an idiosyncratic album that intrinsically fuses the  personal to the universal" (JAZZIZ); and "ESSE" (Origin Arts 2017): "With  the cohesive and captivating Esse, Cortiñas has created superb work  that balances refreshingly inventive ideas with high-caliber  musicianship. This exquisite and continuously gripping record is a  testament to Cortiñas’ triple threat of skills as dynamic performer,  agile bandleader and brilliant composer." (Chicago  Jazz). Out on Woolgathering Records (2021), “Gustavo Cortiñas’ third release as a leader, the magnificent Desafio Candente is an ambitious work both in depth and breadth. Cortiñas draws inspiration from Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano’s iconic “The Open Veins of Latin America” in crafting 14 sublime originals. Desafío Candente is innovative, elegant, and relevant. It is socially engaged music with themes that are simultaneously timely and timeless” (Chicago Jazz Mag).

Concerts and events made possible, in part, with support from the Wells Fargo Philanthropic Services Private Trust Foundations, which include grants from the Stanley A. and Flora P. Clark Memorial Community Trust Foundation (2020-2021; 2022-2023 seasons), the John, Anna, and Martha Jane Fields Memorial Trust Foundation (2021-2022; 2022-2023 seasons), and the Florence V. Carroll Charitable Trust (2021-2022; 2022-2023 season). Special concert event support provided by the Arts Midwest Grow, Invest, Gather (GIG) Fund grant (2022-2023 season). Activities are made possible in part by the Arts Organization Support (AOS), Indiana Arts Commission, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency (2023-2024 season).

Concerts and events made possible, in part, with support from The Esther and George Jaruga Charitable Foundation (2020-2023 seasons).

The Student and Home Grown Series concerts made possible, in part, with support from the ArtsEverywhere Grant from the Community Foundation of St. Joseph County, and the Arts Project Support Grant and the Arts Recovery Grant through the Indiana Arts Commission.


  • General

    $10 Advanced or Door

    Sale ended
  • Student

    $5 Student/Discount

    Sale ended



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