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Mica Bethea: Suite Theory

Read "Suite Theory" reviewed by Jack Bowers

If nothing else is known about Mica Bethea, it should be clearly understood that he has never been one to brush aside or turn away from a challenge. When Bethea was twenty-one years old and a student / musician at the University of North Florida, a horrendous auto accident left him a quadriplegic. For most people, that would be the end of the story. For Bethea, it was more like the beginning. No longer able to play an instrument, he ...

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The Mica Bethea Big Band: Suite Theory

Read "Suite Theory" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

In 2005 Mica Bethea was studying music at the University of Northern Florida when he was involved in a serious traffic accident that left him a quadriplegic. That ended his being able to play any musical instruments so instead he threw his energies into learning composition and arrangement. He has released two previous albums of music by his big band but this one contains his most autobiographical work, a suite dealing with his life before and after the accident.

INTERVIEWS

Mica Bethea: Quintessential Band Geek

Read "Mica Bethea: Quintessential Band Geek" reviewed by Barbara Salter Nelson

It's Sunday afternoon. Mica Bethea rolls into the Cue Note Billiard Room in Palm Coast, Florida. The 34-year old arranger, composer, bandleader and entrepreneur has arrived for Cue Notes weekly Sunday Afternoon Jazz Rendevous. Bethea (sounds like 'buffet') is the “Note" part of Cue Note, which he co-owns with partner and pool guru John Deuble. The Cue Note represents the combined vision of both Bethea and Deuble--an upscale, state-of-the art pool hall, gastro pub, and bar that also ...

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Mica Bethea: Stage 'N Studio

Read "Stage 'N Studio" reviewed by Jack Bowers

When listening to the Mica Bethea Big Band's generally admirable two-CD set, Stage 'n Studio, the first thought is, “Why hasn't anyone done this before?" That query is immediately replaced by a second thought: “Perhaps someone has and we simply overlooked it." In either case, Bethea's decision to perform (basically) the same material in a recording studio and in front of an audience was clearly inspired. That the result is somewhat less so is no fault of Bethea or the ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

The Mica Bethea Big Band: Stage 'N Studio

Read "Stage 'N Studio" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

A young composer from Jacksonville, Florida, Mica Bethea shows an impressive command of big band writing and arranging on this set. Traces of all the usual modern large ensemble influences can be heard in his work, but he also brings his own ideas to the table and creates something fresh and energetic. This is a two-CD set with the first CD recorded in the studio and the second at a live concert. The opening track on both discs ...


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