Skip navigation links

March 11, 2021

MSUFCU Jazz Artist in Residence program wraps up virtual season

Saxophonist Charles McPherson be-bops into spring, March 17–19

Jazz be-bop aficionados can tune-in to a special video presentation of saxophonist Charles McPherson topping off a two-day remote residency and wrapping the eighth season of the annual MSUFCU Jazz Artist in Residence Program.  

McPherson’s performance is free to the public at 8 p.m., Friday, March 19, on the MSU College of Music Livestream Channel. The acclaimed saxophonist and respected jazz mentor will solo and perform virtually with MSU Jazz Octets — advanced ensembles featuring a big band sound through a small group.  

Groups and individuals can also partake in McPherson’s two-day residency March 17–18 through webinars and discussions that feature streamed performances, video conferencing and interactive virtual workshops. The remote sessions are tailored for different audiences that include MSU Jazz Studies students, high school students, MSU Community Music School students in East Lansing and Detroit, and the general public. 

McPherson is the final guest in the lineup of working musicians, educators and composers conducting multi-day residencies focused on jazz music and performance through the MSU College of Music. MSU Associate Professor of jazz studies, saxophone and improvisation Diego Rivera praised McPherson’s be-bop style, as well as his storied ability to pass along jazz technique through the tradition of jazz mentorship.  

“Charles McPherson is the ultimate journeyed alto saxophonist,” Rivera said. “He puts his heart and soul into everything he plays, with an energetic be-bop style that inspires. It’s a privilege for our students to learn from one of Detroit’s finest and to absorb his knowledge gained from collaborating with some of the greatest names in jazz.” 

Raised in Detroit, McPherson amassed a stellar career which began in the 1960s and remains notable throughout today’s jazz scene. As a saxophonist, arranger and composer, he stays true to his be-bop origins while continuing to expand upon his musical influences from his work with Charles Mingus to current day collaborations with Wynton Marsalis. An energetic and wise teacher, McPherson guest mentors at universities all over the world. 

The MSUFCU Jazz Artist in Residence program is made possible through an endowment from the MSU Federal Credit Union. Since 2013, the program has attracted high-level talent and serves as a model for jazz studies programs nationwide. All combined, the residencies of the 30 artists to date included workshops, concerts, events and outreach to more than 35,000 students and adults at non-profit organizations, middle and high schools and communities across Michigan.  
McPherson is the fifth in the dynamic line-up of MSUFCU Jazz Artists in Residence in the 2020–21 season. He was preceded by bassist Marion Hayden in November, guitarist David Stryker in December, and trombonist Wycliffe Gordon in February. The series kicked-off in September with jazz trumpeter Terell Stafford. Performances and activities are taking place virtually, mirroring MSU’s switch to remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. 
Patrons and donors who have enjoyed the talents of faculty, students and visiting artists are encouraged to show their support of music during this challenging time. Please consider donating what you would have spent for season tickets or to attend a concert by clicking here to submit your secure online gift
For more information about donating or sponsoring events, email or call the College of Music Advancement Office at 517-353-9872. 

Media Contacts