Michael Torregano, Jr. was born into a family of musicians. He began studying music at age 6 with classical piano and added the saxophone at 12. One of his first introductions to jazz came at the Louis Armstrong Summer Camp He went on to study at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts alongside classmates Trombone Shorty, Jon Batiste, and Khris Royal under the tutelage of Clyde Kerr, Jr., Kent Jordan, and Alvin Batiste. Torregano now splits his time between the refined sounds of his quartet and the funkier, groove-heavy sounds of the M. Teezy Project. It's under this name that he's released his debut album, The M Teezy Project.
The M Teezy Project is an 11-track album with an extraterrestial modern jazz sound. Torregano is not afraid to try new things, and mixes in unexpected instruments to send listeners into outer space. 'Next Level,' 'Night Inspiration,' and 'Funk in F Minor' are three prime examples of this. 'Kepler 186f' is a tune named after the first validated Earth-size planet deemed to be in the 'habitable zone' by NASA. The other worldly sounds stretch into the keys-driven 'Always Chasing' and 'Martian Waltz.' Torregano takes on a smooth R&B influence with 'That Girl' and the saxophone flies on 'I Have Arrived.' The M Teezy Project concludes with vibrant party sounds on 'Hurricanes and Handgrenades,' taking listeners to Bourbon Street during Carnival time.
Torregano takes the lead with a variety of keys on the album. Joining him is Alexander Geddes on saxophone and flute, Gregory Agid on tenor saxophone, John Moore, Jr. on trumpet, Olas Ortwein on electric bass, and Willie Green and Terrance Campbell on drums.
Torregano and the M Teezy Project will be performing a free show at the Louisiana Music Factory (421 Frenchmen St.) on Saturday, February 20 at 4p. For any additional upcoming appearances, check the WWOZ Livewire Music Calendar.