“The Be-Bop Spartans” Jazzin’ at WSCC on March 16

SCOTTVILLE – Music will be swinging into West Shore Community College on Saturday, March 16, when Michigan State University’s Jazz One -“The Be-Bop Spartans” bring their special jazz styling to the Center Stage Theater as a part of the 2012-2013 Performing Arts Series.

The concert gets underway at 7:30 p.m.

“The “Be-Bop Spartans” will be appearing at West Shore Community College on Saturday, March 16 for a 7:30 concert. Ticket information can be obtained by calling the WSCC Box office at 843-5507. (Courtesy photo)

The Be-Bop Spartans are some of the most talented jazz students in MSU’s College of Music. The 19-piece jazz orchestra is a young, swinging college band playing the repertoire of the great jazz masters, including soul, swing, blues, and gospel. The group’s instrumentation includes saxophone, trombone, trumpet, bass, drums, piano, guitar, and vocalists.

The band is conducted by MSU Professor of Jazz Rodney Whitaker.

Whitaker is one of the leading performers and teachers of jazz double bass in the United States. He is a member of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, and received national recognition performing with the Terence Blanchard Quintet. Whitaker has also toured internationally as a featured performer with the Roy Hargrove Quintet.

In addition, he has appeared and presented master classes at the International Association of Jazz Educators (IAJE) conferences. Featured on more than 100 recordings from film to compact discs, Whitaker’s film score, “China,” directed by Jeff Wray, was released on the Public Broadcasting Service in 2002.

In 2006, he was nominated for the Juno Award, Canada’s equivalent to the Grammy, for his work on “Let Me Tell You About My Day,” produced by Alma Records. Whitaker collaborated with musicians Phil Dwyer and Alan Jones on the album, which was nominated for Traditional Jazz Album of the Year.

“They’re soulful, they’re sizzlin’, they’re swingin’ and they are going to be right here at the college,” says Dr. Rick Plummer, director of the arts series. “I think our students, as well as the entire community, will thrill to this ensemble,” he adds.

“Plan for a sweet evening and come prepared to hear this magnificent ensemble. Bring your family, call your friends, and make sure everyone you know comes to experience this remarkable jazz band. You won’t want to miss it,” says WSCC Associate Professor of Music, Ted Malt.

The West Shore Community College Jazz Band, comprised of students and some of the area’s best jazz musicians, will warm up the audience prior to “The Be-Bop Spartans” taking the stage. The Jazz Band, led by Malt, will perform several traditional, contemporary, and swing jazz arrangements.

For tickets, call the WSCC box office at 843-5507, or for information on the concert or the Performing Arts Series, call Plummer at 843-5928, or email him at rjplummer@westshore.edu.

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