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Wed, Mar 29


The Sandbar @ The Cove at UNO

JAZZ @ THE SANDBAR: Rodney Whitaker

Master bassist Rodney Whitaker of Detroit, director of Jazz Studies at Michigan State University and Director of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra's Civic Jazz Orchestra, is the featured visiting professor and guest teaching artist this week with the UNO Jazz Studies Student Combo Band...

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JAZZ @ THE SANDBAR: Rodney Whitaker
JAZZ @ THE SANDBAR: Rodney Whitaker

Time & Location

Mar 29, 2023, 7:00 PM CDT – Mar 30, 2023, 9:30 PM CDT

The Sandbar @ The Cove at UNO, The Cove, 2000 Lakeshore Dr, New Orleans, LA 70148, USA

About The Event

Internationally renowned bassist and Origin Records recording artist, Rodney Whitaker, currently holds the titles of Professor of Jazz Bass and Director of Jazz Studies at Michigan State University, where he has built one of the leading jazz degree programs and performing faculty in the world. He is considered one of the leading performers and teachers of the jazz double bass in the United States. He is also the Artistic Director of the Michigan State University Professors of Jazz, former Artistic Advisor of Jazz @ Wharton Center, Director of Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s Civic Jazz Orchestra and a former member of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. Whitaker received his first national recognition performing with the Harrison/Blanchard Quintet. 

Building on his Detroit roots and enormous talent, Whitaker went on to earn an international reputation as one of the world’s finest jazz double bass performer. He completed seven-year tenure as bassist with the Wynton Marsalis Septet and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.

This week: Whitaker is a visiting professor and teaching artist at the University of New Orleans' Jazz Studies department, founded by the late Ellis Marsalis Jr, and TONIGHT he presents a special bass trio with the UNO Jazz Studies Student Combo Band! 


He has toured the world over the last 25 years, collaborating and performing with legendary artists such as: Jimmy Heath, Dianne Reeves, Cassandra Wilson, Diana Krall, Donald Harrison Jr, Terence Blanchard, Wycliffe Gordon, Kenny Burrell, Bob James, Benny Golson, Regina Carter, Pat Matheny, Nicholas Payton, Jimmy Cobb, Joshua Redman, Marcus Belgrave, James Carter, Chick Corea, Kenny Garrett, Sean Jones, Wessell Anderson, Don Vappie, Randy Brecker, Peter Martin, Nnenna Freelon, Donald Byrd, Branford Marsalis, Greg Hutchinson, Carl Allen, Herlin Riley, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Roy Hargrove, and late greats: Dizzy Gelispie, Mulgrew Miller, Tommy Flanagan, John Lewis, Marian McPartland, Donald Walden, Joe Henderson, Hank Jones, Frank Morgan and Betty ‘Bebop’ Carter, as well as performing with leading symphony orchestras worldwide. Whitaker has also toured internationally as a featured performer with the Roy Hargrove Quintet. In addition, he has appeared and presented master classes at the International Association of Jazz Educators (IAJE) conferences. 

Featured on more than 100+ recordings, from film to compact discs, Whitaker’s film scores include: China, directed by Jeff Wray, was released on PBS in Fall 2002, and Malaria and Malawi, released on PBS in Fall 2010. In 2011, he was nominated for an EMMY Award for the ‘Original Music’ category, “Malawi and Malaria: Fighting to Save the Children.” 

A proven and committed jazz educator, Whitaker has presented numerous master classes across the nation at locations such as Duke University, Howard University, University of Iowa, University of Michigan, Barbican in London, the New School (NY), Lincoln Center, and the Detroit International Jazz Festival. In addition, he is a consultant with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in the development of the jazz education department, and has served on the faculties of University of Michigan and Julliard Institute of Jazz. 

Now based in East Lansing, Whitaker continues to serve many of the talented in the state of Michigan. His legacy of teaching promises to be distinguished with former students currently performing with jazz greats such as Wynton Marsalis, Dianne Reeves, Pat Matheny, The Count Basie Orchestra and Stephon Harris. 

Whitaker attended Wayne State University, studied with late, great trumpeter Marcus Belgrave, bassists Stephen Molina and Ralph Armstrong, among others. 

Sets at 7:00pm and 8:30pm.

Admission is $10 at the door  |  All Ages

FREE for students & staff.  Admission proceeds benefit the students of the Jazz Studies program at UNO.

THE SANDBAR is LOCATED at 100 Founders Rd. inside "The Cove" on the campus of the University of New Orleans. (Enter from 2000 Lakeshore Drive) - See the Map to The Cove on the Sandbar series page here >>>

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