MSUToday
Published: April 8, 2016

Jazz Spectacular offers three days of jazz music, dancing, legendary guests

Contact(s): Kathleen Adams College of Music office: (517) 353-9958 adamsk10@msu.edu

The Jazz Studies area in the MSU College of Music presents its 36th annual Jazz Spectacular April 14 - 16 in four venues across the MSU campus.

The festival kicks off with a performance by four MSU Jazz Octets with guest drummer Louis Hayes, followed by a swing dance with live music by the BeBop Spartans Jazz Orchestras. On Saturday, a regional Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band competition takes place, and that evening, a finale concert with the winning high school band of the day, Jazz Orchestras and guest artist Hayes will be happening.

Special guest artist Hayes, a Detroit native, grew up surrounded by music. He began playing the drums at the age of 10 and has since performed with artists like Cannonball Adderley, John Coltrane, Sonny Rolling, JJ Johnson, Ravi Shankar, and Freddie Hubbard. He has received several awards including The DownBeat New Star Award, Spirit of Detroit Award, and United States House of Representatives Special Tribute Award.

“Jazz Spectacular has been an integral part of the Jazz Studies area at MSU for 36 years,” says Rodney Whitaker, university-distinguished professor of jazz bass and director of jazz studies. “It is an effective and energetic way to bring students—both at the college and high school levels, professionals, and the community together through jazz and swing.” The festival is a great way to get high school students on campus to see what kind of opportunities they can pursue in music after high school, and the swing dance is always a fan favorite, Whitaker continues. “We are all really looking forward to having the legendary Louis Hayes join in the festivities this year.”

36th Annual Jazz Spectacular Schedule of Events

April 14
Jazz Octets I, II, III, IV concert with Louis Hayes, jazz drums
7:30 p.m. Cook Recital Hall, Music Building
Tickets: $10, $8 seniors, free for students

April 15
Swing Dance with music by Jazz Orchestras I, II, III
8 p.m. Demonstration Hall
Tickets: $10, $8 seniors, free for students

April 16
Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Regional Competition
8 a.m. – 6 p.m. MSU Union Main Lounge
Free

April 16
Jazz Spectacular Finale Concert with Louis Hayes, jazz drums, and MSU Jazz Orchestras
8 p.m. Fairchild Theatre, MSU Auditorium
Tickets: $25, $20 seniors, $15 students

The Great State Road Trip: Exploring MSU's Impact Across Michigan
Who will? Spartans Will.