Michigan State University’s Be-Bop Spartans, a 22-member student jazz orchestra, will perform selections from their repertoire of jazz, soul, swing, blues, and gospel in the Frauenthal Center, 425 W. Western, in downtown Muskegon.
Joining the MSU performers will be special guest, Renee Rosnes, one of the premier jazz pianists and composers of her generation, along with the 17-member Muskegon Community College Jazz Ensemble, directed by Daniel M. Meyers.
Tickets to the event, which is sponsored by Muskegon Community College, are $5 general admission and $2 for any student with ID. For more information, contact the Frauenthal Center Box Office at (231) 727-8001. Office hours are Monday through Thursday between 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. On performance days, the box office opens two hours prior to show time and remains open 30 minutes after curtain. For online tickets, visit https://frauenthal.org/event/be-bop-spartans/.
The Be-Bop Spartans are conducted by internationally renowned bassist and Mack Avenue recording artist, Rodney Whitaker. A Professor of Jazz Bass and Director of Jazz Studies at MSU, Whitaker has built one of the nation’s leading jazz degree programs and performing faculty. Over the past 25 years, he has performed and toured with more than 100 legendary performing jazz artists.
Comprised of Jazz Orchestra I students, the group’s instrumentation includes saxophone, trombone, trumpet, bass, drums, piano, and guitar. The members frequently participate in community residencies throughout Michigan and conduct workshops, concerts, and master classes with children in various Michigan public schools through the College of Music’s outreach and engagement program.
Renee Rosnes has toured and recorded with such masters as Joe Henderson, Wayne Shorter, Bobby Hutcherson, J.J. Johnson, James Moody, and legendary bassist Ron Carter. She has released 17 recordings. Her Written in the Rocks was named one of ten Best Jazz Albums of the Year by The Chicago Tribune, one of the Best Albums in all genres of music by The Nation and was awarded a 2017 Canadian Juno, her fifth Juno award. She has produced concerts at Jazz at Lincoln Center, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, and the 92nd Street Y in New York City. She is a former host of The Jazz Profiles, an interview series produced by CBC Radio