Composer, trumpeter, and educator Michael R. Dudley Jr. (b. 1994) has developed a career branching in multiple directions and defying conventions of genre. Michael has played at venues like NYC’s Birdland with groups such as the Maria Schneider Orchestra, Christian McBride Big Band, having recorded as a lead trumpet player on multiple GRAMMY®-winning recordings by the John Daversa Big Band and Brian Lynch Big Band. As a composer they earned a 2022 ASCAP Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award, grand prize in the 2022 FirstMusic Commission Contest in the jazz category, and was recently chosen as a participant in the American Composers Orchestra’s EarShot Composer Readings in partnership with the Next Festival of Emerging Artists. Their recent collaborations include the likes of Donny McCaslin, with Michael’s compositions and orchestrations performed by the National Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, Sphinx Virtuosi, Charlotte Symphony, Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra, New Canon Chamber Collective, and Cincinnati Contemporary Jazz Orchestra, with more premieres scheduled soon. Michael currently lives in Potsdam, NY (among occupied land of the Kanienʼkehá:ka) where they serve as Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies at SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music.