MSU Jazz Notoriety

Chart-topping CDs, grants strengthen growing profile of MSU Jazz Studies faculty.

The MSU Jazz Studies Program continues to build presence as a top collegiate jazz program as three faculty members climb the charts, garner praise, or receive coveted grants.

Director of Jazz Studies Rodney Whitaker's latest CD "We Find Ourselves Alone" (Mack Avenue) recently soared to number 4 on the JazzWeek Jazz Chart. The CD's mix of straight-ahead standards and traditional jazz captured the attention of reviewers from The New York Times who praised the verve, swing, and gusto of Whitaker and his combo. See video below on the making of the CD.

Assistant Professor of Jazz Trombone Michael Dease also added to the growing praise for MSU jazz studies faculty as his CD charted in the top 20 of JazzWeek. Released in mid-summer 2014, "Relentless" (Posi-Tone) further secures Dease's spot in the frontline of jazz trombonists.

The Etienne Charles Project led by Assistant Professor of Jazz Trumpet Etienne Charles was among nine jazz ensembles nationwide receiving support through the Chamber Music Association's New Jazz Works program. Supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the grant helps fund the creation and performance of new jazz works, as well as additional performances and recordings that extend the life of the work. 

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