Michael Dease photo
Scott Pohl / WKAR

Our Live Music Friday guest is Michael Dease, a world-class trombone player who teaches in the MSU College of Music’s Jazz Studies program. His most recent album is “Father Figure.”

The Grand Concert Series, FREE | The Lansing City Market and WKAR are excited to announce the return of the summer concerts on the riverfront! 

Bria Skonberg
Courtesy of Bria Skonberg

We’ll speak with jazz trumpeter and vocalist Bria Skonberg who is coming to the Wharton Center’s Pasant Theater on Wednesday night. We’ll speak about her Dixieland & Hot Jazz upbringing as well as find out how you pick a killer concert opener.

Ron Newman photo
Courtesy photo / MSU College of Music

MSU Jazz professor Ron Newman showcases the keyboard in an upcoming Fairchild Theatre concert.

Kenny Barron photo
Jon Whiting

Jazz legend Kenny Barron takes up a week-long residency at MSU, performing and teaching throughout Mid-Michigan. Wel hear him perform and speak with Current State's Scott Pohl.

Glenn Brown photo
Mark Bashore / WKAR

East Lansing music producer and engineer Glenn Brown talks about his involvement with a project up for a Grammy award, bassist Marcus Miller’s album “Afrodeezia.”

2015 brought music lovers the 50th anniversary of the classic John Coltrane album "A Love Supreme." WKAR documents the achievement in a radio special Saturday night.

Brian Lynch photo
Scott Pohl / WKAR

Our Live Music Friday guest this week is Grammy Award-winning jazz trumpeter Brian Lynch. He’s at MSU this week working with the College of Music’s MSUFCU Jazz Artist in Residence program.


Detroit jazz trumpeter Marcus Belgrave died just over a week ago. Early in his career he backed many Motown musicians, and was in Ray Charles’ band. He later worked with many jazz greats including Max Roach and Charles Mingus. He also was a mentor to many of today’s best jazz musicians, including bassist Rodney Whitaker, who is the director of Jazz Studies at Michigan State University.

NYC jazz guitarist teaches, performs at MSU

Mar 4, 2015
Courtesy - MSU College of Music

The MSU Federal Credit Union Jazz Artist in Residence program with the MSU College of Music has another feature artist working with students on campus this week. Current State talks with guitarist Peter Bernstein of New York City.

Scott Pohl/WKAR

It’s a Live Music Friday again here on Current State, and today, we’ve been enjoying the saxophone of Vincent Bowens. This week, Bowens has been spending time with students in the MSU College of Music Jazz Studies program as part of the MSU Federal Credit Union Jazz Artist in Residence program, along with drummer Tim Froncek.


Rodney Whitaker is professor of double bass and director of Jazz Studies at MSU’s College of Music. He’ll lead the Professors of Jazz in an 8 p.m. performance tonight at MSU’s Cook Recital Hall. Current State's Peter Whorf got together with Whitaker this week to talk about Friday’s performance and some other jazz events in the coming months.

MSU ensembles swing with Beethoven, Ellington

Nov 21, 2014

The MSU Symphony Orchestra and MSU Jazz Orchestra I are joining forces for a concert tonight at Wharton Center. It’s an Ellington and Beethoven concert, a meeting of the great composers.


Ron Newman leads the Lansing Symphony Jazz Band Sunday night at 7 p.m. at the Wharton Center’s Pasant Theatre, in classic tunes by Horace Silver, Thad Jones and Sy Oliver, his own composition entitled Homage, and more.

NOLA musical legend Toussaint visits East Lansing

Oct 8, 2014
Courtesy - Michael Wilson

Some legendary New Orleans musicians will be in East Lansing tonight. The Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Allen Toussaint play at Wharton Center at 7:30. Allen Toussaint has pretty much done it all.