Year four presented a blazing lineup for MSU jazz residency.

An astonishing lineup of jazz artists toured Michigan to teach, mentor and perform from October to March through the MSUFCU Jazz Artist in Residence program coordinated by the MSU College of Music.

The College’s innovative residency program was made possible by a $1 million endowment from the MSU Federal Credit Union. Now entering its fifth year, the program continues to attract high-level talent and serves as a model for jazz studies programs nationwide. The fourth-year residency for the 2016-17 season featured a blazing lineup of working musicians, educators and composers who draw on the jazz tradition.

“Jazz is one of America’s greatest artistic treasures,” says James Forger, dean of the MSU College of Music. “Thanks to the incredible vision and generosity of the MSU Federal Credit Union, MSU is becoming a center of jazz education, innovation and study that helps ensure that current and future generations can experience this evolving and vibrant art form.”

Jazz Guitarist Russell Malone was the first of the four scheduled residents, followed by Bassist Rufus Reid, Clarinetist-saxophonist Anat Cohen and Trombonist Conrad Herwig. While at MSU, each artist’s weeklong residency included mentoring College of Music students and performing for the campus community, including tours of high schools, art academies and community colleges. Jazz residents were accompanied by the College’s premier student jazz ensemble, MSU Jazz Orchestra I, traveling across Michigan thanks to the support and partnership of Dean Trailways.

The versatile and inspiring lineup provided students and the community a rare opportunity to listen to and learn from high-energy, well-known musicians and virtuosos who are equally accomplished as educators, composers and arrangers who shape the world of jazz.

“The MSU Federal Credit Union has given us the ability to bring in amazing guest artists and to attract the best and the brightest students and faculty,” says Director of Jazz Studies Rodney Whitaker. “Their generosity has helped make us a shining star of jazz excellence and education, as well as a destination for jazz artists and jazz lovers world-wide.” 

Since its inaugural 2013-14 season, a total of 16 artists have participated in the residency delivering workshops, concerts, events and outreach to more than 27,332 students and adults in communities across Michigan. Guest artists in addition to the 2016-17 season included: Antonio Hart, saxophone; Jon Faddis, trumpet; Jeff Hamilton, drums; Christian McBride, bass; Robin Eubanks, trombone; Peter Bernstein, guitar; Vincent Bowens, saxophone; Tim Froncek, drums; Brian Lynch, trumpet; Jimmy Cobb, drums; Kenny Barron, piano; and Tim Warfield, Jr, saxophone.

MSU’s Jazz Studies program was founded in 2001 and excels in community outreach, engagement and performance opportunities. Musically active faculty help strengthen college programming and instruction in blues-based jazz through professional connections, chart-topping recordings and frequent performances across the U.S. and abroad.

“Building and maintaining strong, vibrant communities starts with the support of arts and culture,” says April Clobes, president and CEO of the MSUFCU. “This gift to the College of Music helps to strengthen mid-Michigan's presence as an exceptional community by providing astonishing opportunities to experience one of America’s greatest art forms: jazz.”

See MSU Federal Credit Union Board of Directors Report.

2016-2017 Lineup

Michigan State Federal Credit Union Jazz Artist in Residence Program

This year’s MSUFCU Jazz Artist in Residence program includes four jazz musicians. Artists will spend a week teaching and touring with the MSU Jazz Studies program, including stops and workshops at various Michigan schools. Campus and the community performances are also instrumental to the program. Artists and their residencies include:

October 10–16, 2016
Russell Malone
, jazz guitar 
Malone is a versatile performer with a fluid, straight-ahead style. 

December 5-11, 2016
Rufus Reid
, jazz bass
Reid is one of today’s premier bassists on the international jazz scene, is firmly established in the education arena, and an accomplished composer.

February 6-12, 2017
Anat Cohen, jazz clarinetist-saxophonist 
Clarinetist-saxophonist Anat Cohen has won hearts and minds the world over with her expressive virtuosity and delightful stage presence.

March 20- 26, 2017 
Conrad Herwig
, jazz trombone
Herwig is one of the world’s most complete jazz musicians in performance and jazz educational, including an abundance of composer and arranger credits.