Music for Social Justice: Rodney Whitaker, bass

Special video premiere presentation

Video interview and performance with bassist Rodney Whitaker


A prayer for the nation, a reflection on the past, and a need for wholeness during the current struggle for racial equality, Rodney Whitaker presents his powerful composition “John Lewis”.

This performance represents the debut of the Michigan State University College of Music video series, Music for Social Justice, an opportunity for MSU artists to express their thoughts and feelings on important social justice issues, doing so with their insightful, often moving comments and of course their art, the music. Nine episodes of the series have been filmed, premiering online August 12 through December 2, 2020. 

Watch the premiere of this presentation and share comments on the MSU College of Music YouTube channel.


Rodney Whitaker is a world-renowned recording artist and jazz bassist as well as a University Distinguished Professor of Jazz Bass and Director of Jazz Studies at Michigan State University. He has built one of the most distinguished jazz degree programs in the United States while also leading the college’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging committee by facilitating dozens of events, speakers, and performances on this topic. 

The 2020–2021 Music for Social Justice video series is generously sponsored by the MSU Federal Credit Union

All videos in the MSU Music for Social Justice series have been filmed following safety guidelines and regulations as set forth by Michigan State University and the State of Michigan.

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