Rodney Whitaker


6 archived shows

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Rodney T. Whitaker, internationally renowned Mack Avenue recording artist, jazz bassist, Michigan State University distinguished professor of jazz double bass, director of jazz studies, artistic director for the East Lansing Summer Solstice Jazz Festival, Dr. Phillips Center Jazz Orchestra/Orlando, FL, Gathering Orchestra/Detroit, MI and the MSU Professors of Jazz at Michigan State University, where he has built one of the most distinguished jazz degree programs and performing faculty in the United States of America. Whitaker, with one of the most undeniably distinctive bear-sized bass tones, is one of the leading bass performers and teachers of the jazz double bass in the United States. He received his first national recognition performing with the Harrison/Blanchard Quintet. Expatiating on his Detroit roots and enormous talent, Rodney proceeded to earn an international reputation as one of the world's finest jazz double bass performers.  He completed seven-year tenure with the Wynton Marsalis Septet and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. He has toured the world over the last thirty-three years, collaborating and performing with legendary artists from Ray Charles, Bob James, Dizzy Gillespie, Roy Hargrove, Chick Corea, Pat Matheny, Jimmy Heath, Antonio Hart, Diana Krall, Natalie Cole, Dianne Reeves, Kathleen Battle, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Cassandra Wilson, John Lewis, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Crosby, Stills & Nash and the late greats, Joe Henderson, Donald Byrd, Tommy Flanagan, Marian McPartland, Hank Jones, Frank Morgan, Betty Carter just to name a few.  He is featured on more than 200 recordings -- from film to compact discs.  Whether you find life-long pioneer, bassist, composer, recording artist, educator and mentor performing on stage, conducting a master class, recording in a studio or mapping out plans for the future of jazz with members of the community, Rodney Whitaker has whole-heartedly embraced the JAZZ legacy life-force with an integral pledge of distinction, integrity and great promise, "I will mentor 1,000+ people, who will each mentor 1,000+ people!"  His newly released post hard-bop CD epitomizes his continued voyage in "illuminating the past" of hard-bop jazz with allies, Bruce Barth, Antonio Hart, Gregory Hutchinson and Rockelle Fortin (daughter) entitled, "When We Find Ourselves Alone".