A Musical Life: Michael Engdahl

Apr 17, 2015

Credit Connor Hays

Michael J. Engdahl is a guitarist, composer, and teacher based out of Wichita, KS. He plays in the local alt-rock band Coriander, the modern jazz quartet First To Leave, and leads his own trio, ME3. A recent graduate of Wichita State with a B.M. in Jazz Studies, Michael teaches at Senseney Music and has been a part of the local music scene for many years. His most recent recording, Live! At Miller Concert Hall debuts original compositions in the jazz idiom. Michael is looking forward to recording, performing, and touring with all his projects in 2015. 


“First To Leave” was one of a handful of compositions that I first wrote.

The melody was inspired by a prog-metal band, Animals As Leaders.

It’s in a 6/8 time signature—one of my favorite time signatures to play in and write in.

The solo itself is trying to convey that emotion of what it feels like to have someone who’s been with you so long—whether it’s a friend, a family member, what have you—and that idea that idea that they’re not always going to be there.

This commentary originally aired during Morning Edition on 1/23/2015.