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MSU jazz professor, Detroit jazz icon elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Rodney Whitaker
Rodney Whitaker

Rodney Whitaker, University Distinguished Professor of Jazz Bass and director of Jazz Studies in the Michigan State University College of Music, is among the class of new members elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

With this honor, he joins the ranks of artists, scholars, scientists, and leaders of one of the oldest learned societies in the United States.

Rodney Whitaker
Russ White | MSU Today
Rodney Whitaker

Conversation Highlights:

(0:28) – How does this honor feel?

(1:17) – When and how did you fall in love with music? It started at the turntable.

(2:50) – Why the bass? Who influenced you? The violin was first.

(4:29) – How and when do you become a Spartan?

(5:48) – Why do you love to teach?

(7:08) – What’s the mission of the MSU Jazz Studies program? “It’s a place to grow mentors.”

(9:03) – Talk about your role directing the college’s diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging efforts.

Listen to “MSU Today with Russ White” on the radio and through Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and wherever you get your shows.