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Dec. 6, 2021

MSU jazzes up the holidays with festive annual concert

Professors of Jazz bring swingin’ beat to classic holiday favorites

Looking for the perfect way to swing into the holidays? Celebrate the season by enjoying some classic holiday tunes with a jazzy twist at the annual “A Jazzy Little Christmas,” at 8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 11 in Fairchild Theatre at Michigan State University.  
The concert is open to the community and features some of the best jazz musicians in the business who also happen to be on the jazz faculty at the MSU College of Music. The seven-member Professors of Jazz performs several times a year at benefits, clinics and concert halls, and never fails to delight audiences. 
The MSU Professors of Jazz performing at “A Jazzy Little Christmas” this year include: Xavier Davis, piano; Michael Dease, trombone; Randy Gelispie, drums; Randy Napoleon, guitar; Diego Rivera, tenor saxophone; Anthony Stanco, trumpet; and Rodney Whitaker, bass, along with guest jazz vocalist Lenora Helm Hammonds. 
University Distinguished Professor of Jazz Bass Rodney Whitaker directs the ensemble and the MSU Jazz Studies program. He said he loves this festive time of year and always looks forward to the concert. Holiday tunes that are specially arranged for jazz at this year’s concert include “Silent Night,” “Christmas Time Is Here,” “Frosty The Snowman,” “Feliz Navidad,” “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town,” “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” “Cool Yule,” “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve,” “Little Drummer Boy” and “The Dreidel Song.” 
“All the Professors of Jazz and guests enjoy getting together to celebrate the season by performing these pieces for our community,” he said. “Every song holds a special memory for each of us, and for members of our audience, too. This year is extremely special as we look to lift spirits and provide hope through music in this difficult and challenging time.” 
“A Jazzy Little Christmas” is part of the MSU Federal Credit Union Showcase Series and is generously sponsored by Brenda Sternquist and Joseph and Jeanne Maguire. 
Reserved seating is $22 for adults, $20 for seniors (age 60 and older) and $12 for students with ID and anyone 18 and under. Tickets are available through the College of music. Tickets may also be purchased at the door if available. For more information and tickets to the MSU Federal Credit Union Showcase Series visit the MSU College of Music website.  

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