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.

LIVE MUSIC: Marshall Music's Friday Jazz Lunch Bunch

Jun 20, 2014
WKAR/Aaron Young

Our Live Music Friday Series continues with yet another extremely talented local jazz group. Marshall Music has started a Summer Jazz Lunch series that involves live jazz from noon to 1 p.m. every Friday. People are encouraged to bring their lunch and relax to some free jazz during the noon hour.

Broad celebrates legacy of Sun Ra

Jun 19, 2014
Pandelis Karayorgis- Wikimedia Commons

The Summer Solstice Jazz Festival takes place in East Lansing this Friday and Saturday. There will be live jazz downtown from a variety of groups and the Broad Art Museum is participating as well with a unique event.

performers on stage
Stacy Hoxsey / WKAR-MSU

Second line New Orleans sound meets hip-hop, reggae and funk.

In the 1920’s, ballrooms popped up across the United States, including in Detroit. The music that filled Detroit’s dance halls was Jazz.

Current State’s Emanuele Berry spoke with Jim Gallert,  a veteran jazz broadcaster, researcher and writer. Together with Lars Bjorn, he wrote “Before Motown: A History of Jazz in Detroit, 1920– 1960.”

Whitaker rplaying bass
w.r. richards / WKAR-MSU

Jazz from a true master of the double bass, with some of the best players in the land and featured guests Rockelle Fortin and Terrell Stafford. WATCH NOW

CMU jazzmen juggle performance, teaching

Jan 10, 2014
Joe Linstroth/WKAR

Today’s Michigan Jazz Trail featured players are all music professors at Central Michigan University: Bob Lindahl on trombone, John Nichol on tenor sax, and Jeff Kressler on keys.

Musicians aim to blaze a Michigan Jazz Trail

Dec 6, 2013
Flickr - PuroJazz

On a recent trip to New York City, jazz vocalist Molly McFadden took some fellow Michigan musicians along to perform. The enthusiastic response has led to an effort to promote what McFadden feels is a rich Michigan jazz scene.

Son performs tribute to radio legend Karl Haas

Dec 5, 2013
Wikimedia Commons


Radio host Karl Haas would have turned 100 on Dec. 6. Many may remember him from the classical radio program “Adventures in Good Music.” It aired for 44 years, first on Detroit’s WJR and later in syndication on public and commercial radio stations around the world. His son, Jeff Haas, shared his father’s passion for music, but Jeff found his home in the world of jazz.


Courtesy MSU School of Music

 This summer, MSU assistant professor Etienne Charles debuted his fourth album, called "Creole Soul." It’s received favorable reviews from The New York Times and NPR, and spent some time high up on the jazz charts. Charles, who is also one of the MSU Professors of Jazz, will be playing some of his music at the Broad Art Museum on Thursday night.