WATCH NOW: Rodney Whitaker Quartet on BackStage Pass

Feb 28, 2014

Jazz from a true master of the double bass, with some of the best players in the land and featured guests Rockelle Fortin and Terrell Stafford. WATCH NOW

Rodney Whitaker is considered one of the leading performers and teachers of the jazz double bass in the United States. Whitaker has performed and toured with over 100 legendary performing jazz artists, and is featured on more than 100 recordings. As director of jazz studies at Michigan State University, Whitaker has built one of the leading jazz degree programs and performing faculty in the United States.

Captured live in performance at Lansing Jazzfest in August 2013, Whitaker's quartet includes Randy Gelispie on drums, Reggie Thomas on piano, and Diego Rivera on tenor sax.

The quartet is joined by Terrell Stafford, whom Whitaker calls "one of the greatest trumpet players of his generation," and by vocalist Rockelle Fortin, who also happens to be Whitaker's daughter.

"Jazz is about love, hope and joy," says Whitaker. "This is like a family thing here. We have the ability to read each others' minds. So we're going to have a good time. We're going to swing."

Rodney Whitaker, bass; Randy Gelispie, drums; Reggie Thomas, piano; Diego Rivera, sax. With Rockelle Fortin, vocals; and Terrell Stafford, trumpet.

first air 2/28/14

Rodney Whitaker
Credit w.r. richards / WKAR-MSU