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MSU JAZZ ENSEMBLES in the College of Music include three big bands: Jazz Orchestra I, Jazz Orchestra II, and Jazz Orchestra III, each made up of 18 members, and conducted by Rodney Whitaker, Etienne Charles and Michael Dease, respectively. The groups play the repertoire of the great jazz masters as well as a wide range of soul, swing, blues, and gospel. The four Jazz Octets are eight-piece ensembles that blend the sounds of big band with small group performance. There are also 12 Jazz Combos, each consisting of four to six members.
The MSU PROFESSSORS OF JAZZ ensemble performs a faculty artist recital each semester with music from the jazz canon, including standards, jazz classics, and original compositions. Members of the Professors of Jazz perform internationally, nationally, and locally.
MSU JAZZ SPECTACULAR: one of the MSU College of Music Festivals, is an annual celebration that includes concerts, dancing, and an all-day high school jazz competition.
- 8/30 Sat | 1:15 p.m. | Detroit International Jazz Festival. Carhartt Amphitheater Stage, Detroit
- 9/13 Sat | 8:00 p.m. | A Fairchild Fanfare. Fairchild Theatre
- 10/10 Fri | 8:00 p.m. | Jazz Orchestra I with Christian McBride, jazz bass, MSUFCU jazz artist in residence. Rodney Whitaker, conductor. Fairchild Theatre
- 11/21 Fri | 8:00 p.m. | Symphony Orchestra, Jazz Orchestra I, and jazz faculty. Kevin Noe, conductor. Cobb Great Hall
- 12/5 Fri | 8:00 p.m. | Jazz Orchestra I with Robin Eubanks, trombone, MSUFCU jazz artist in residence. Rodney Whitaker, conductor. Fairchild Theatre
- 1/18 Sun | 3:00 and 7:00 p.m. | Jazz: Spirituals, Prayer and Protest Concert. Jazz Orchestras and Take 6, guest artists. Fairchild Theatre
- 3/6 Fri | 8:00 p.m. | Jazz Orchestra I, II, III with Peter Bernstein, jazz guitar, MSUFCU jazz artist in residence. Fairchild Theatre
- 4/17 Fri | 8:00 p.m. | Swing Dance, Jazz Orchestra I, II, III (Part of Jazz Spectacular). MSU Union Ballroom
- 4/18 Sat | 8:00 p.m. | Jazz Spectacular Wrap-up Concert (Part of Jazz Spectacular). Fairchild Theatre
- 11//7 Fri | 8:00 p.m. | Jazz Octets I, II, III, IV. Fairchild Theatre
- 2/20 Fri | 8:00 p.m. | Jazz Octets I, II, III, IV with George Benson, saxophone, and Tim Froncek, drums, MSUFCU Michigan jazz icons. Cook Recital Hall
- 4/16 Thurs | 7:30 p.m. | Jazz Octets I, II, III, IV (Part of Jazz Spectacular). Fairchild Theatre