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Rodney Whitaker

Rodney Whitaker is associate professor of double bass and director of jazz studies at the Michigan State University College of Music.

Whitaker is one of the leading performers and teachers of jazz double bass in the United States. He is a member of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, and received national recognition performing with the Terence Blanchard Quintet. 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 score, China, directed by Jeff Wray, was released on PBS in 2002.

In 2006, he was nominated for the Juno Award, Canada's equivalent to the Grammy, for his work on “Let Me Tell You About My Day,” produced by Alma Records. Whitaker collaborated with musicians Phil Dwyer and Alan Jones on the album, which was nominated for Traditional Jazz Album of the Year.

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, 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 a jazz education department, and has served on the faculties of University of Michigan and Juilliard Institute of Jazz.

Whitaker attended Wayne State University, and studied with Robert Gladstone, principal bass with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and trumpeter Marcus Belgrave.

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Liner Notes

Jordan VanHemert: Deep in the Soil

Read "Jordan VanHemert: Deep in the Soil" reviewed by C. Andrew Hovan


Born in Korea and raised in Michigan, Jordan VanHemert counts himself among those youngsters that got involved in his school music program by starting out on the alto saxophone. Also like many of his fellow saxophonists, VanHemert eventually moved away from the smaller horn to devote his full energies to the tenor sax, an instrument emblematic of the jazz heritage. “In my formative years, I was almost exclusively an alto saxophonist," VanHemert explained from his current home base in Oklahoma. ...

6
Album Review

Randy Napoleon: The Door is Open: The Music of Gregg Hill

Read "The Door is Open: The Music of Gregg Hill" reviewed by Paul Rauch


In and around the formidable jazz studies program at Michigan State University is a plethora of jazz talent devoted to instrumental and compositional excellence. Most of this talent is young, benefiting from a wide array of world-class instructors that includes program director Rodney Whitaker and veteran guitarist Randy Napoleon, among other notables. Within this labyrinth of jazz wisdom in the Detroit / Lansing metroplex is composer Gregg Hill, a former truck driver and tech entrepreneur whose performing ambitions were superseded ...

36
Album Review

Rodney Whitaker: Oasis: The Music of Gregg Hill

Read "Oasis: The Music of Gregg Hill" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Oasis is the third time around for bassist Rodney Whitaker and music written by fellow Michigander Gregg Hill, following Common Ground (Origin 82780) and Outrospection (Origin 82819). Personnel is the same as on Common Ground (Terell Stafford, trumpet; Tim Warfield, saxophone; Bruce Barth, piano; Dana Hall, drums; Rockelle Fortin, vocals) with Hall and Fortin returning from Outrospection (on which Fortin is listed as Rockelle Whitaker). Hill's compositions are for the most part firmly grounded in customary post-bop ...

20
Album Review

Nathan Borton: Each Step

Read "Each Step" reviewed by Jane Kozhevnikova


Each Step is the debut recording by guitarist Nathan Borton. As his website accurately states, Borton draws heavily from the mid-western tradition of bebop and blues. His influences include Wes Montgomery, Grant Green and Kenny Burrell. The album offers an enjoyable tour through the straight-ahead tradition. There are three standards early on: Cole Porter's “Just One of Those Things," Harry Warren's “The More I See You" and John Lewis' “Milestones." These show the virtuosity of Borton's solo lines. ...

17
Album Review

Jordan VanHemert: Nomad

Read "Nomad" reviewed by Jane Kozhevnikova


After his previous album, I Am Not A Virus (Big Round Records, 2021), inspired by the ongoing fight against racial prejudice, Jordan VanHemert releases Nomad, continuing to explore and embrace his Asian American identity. As the liner note says, this album is a celebration of Korean culture “through the melodies of both ancient & contemporary folk & children's songs, distilled through a modern jazz aesthetic." The opening tracks sound like a traditional saxophone trio similar to Sonny Rollins' ...

25
Album Review

Jordan VanHemert: Nomad

Read "Nomad" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Although his name offers no clue, saxophonist Jordan VanHemert's heritage is Korean. He salutes that legacy on Nomad, his second album as leader, with a pair of Korean folk songs and half a dozen comparatively modern themes written by Koreans or Korean Americans. Most are performed by VanHemert's trio: (Rodney Whitaker, bass; David Alvarez III, drums). Pianist Lisa Sung, guitarist Nathan Borton, bassist John Webber, drummer Max Colley III and vocalist Sharon Cho join VanHemert on the children's song “Half ...

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Album Review

Nathan Borton: Each Step

Read "Each Step" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Judging from recent album releases, the guitar remains an essential part of the contemporary jazz scene. The latest example among many is this tasteful session led by Kansas-born, Michigan-based Nathan Borton, adding his name to an ample roster of newly minted guitar-led or guitar-centered albums by Doug MacDonald, Graham Dechter, Kristian Borring, Randy Napoleon, John Moulder, Hendrik Braeckman, Paul Bollenback, Matt Dingledine and others. What does Borton have that they may not? When it comes to technique and perception—that is, ...

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167

Performance / Tour

Carl Allen/Rodney Whitaker Project To Perform Music From Their Mack Avenue Cd Work To Do, At Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, November 9-14

Carl Allen/Rodney Whitaker Project To Perform Music From Their Mack Avenue Cd  Work To Do, At Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, November 9-14

Source: DL Media

"Work to Do features reworked pop-classics and originals that range from achingly beautiful tunes to those possessing an energized post-bop feel." - All About Jazz “On Work To Do, rhythm section par excellence Carl Allen and Rodney Whitaker tap into their roots and offer an engaging and user-friendly repertoire that includes standards, pop classics, soul music, gospel influences, and post-bop originals...crafting music that keeps listeners tapping their toes, snapping their fingers and generally having a good time." - Audiophile Audition ...

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Festival

Rodney Whitaker to be Guest Artist for SWIC Jazz Festival on February 21

Rodney Whitaker to be Guest Artist for SWIC Jazz Festival on February 21

Source: St. Louis Jazz Notes by Dean Minderman

Bassist Rodney Whitaker (pictured) will be the guest artist and clinician at the 2009 Southwestern Illinois College Jazz Festival, to be held on Saturday, February 21 at SWIC's Belleville Campus Theatre, 2500 Carlyle Ave.Whitaker, who currently performs with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and serves as chair of jazz studies at Michigan State University, will give a master class at 1:00 p.m., perform with the SWIC Jazz Band at 2:00 p.m., and present a concert at 7:30 ...

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Performance / Tour

The Carl Allen-Rodney Whitaker Project - This Friday! Rubin Museum-NYC

The Carl Allen-Rodney Whitaker Project - This Friday!  Rubin Museum-NYC

Source: Two for the Show Media

Drummer/Composer, Carl Allen & Bassist/Composer, Rodney Whitaker will be bringing The Carl Allen-Rodney Whitaker Project to the Rubin Museum this Friday February 29th, 2008 as part of the Harlem in the Himalayas series at the Rubin Museum. Carl Allen - Drums Rodney Whitaker - Bass Antonio Hart - Alto & soprano saxophone Aaron Goldeberg - Piano Rodney Jones - Guitar February 29, 2008- Showtime- 7:00 PM Admission $18 in advance/$20 ...

119

Performance / Tour

Carl Allen and Rodney Whitaker CD Release Party Monday, June 11th at Sweet Rhythm

Carl Allen and Rodney Whitaker CD Release Party Monday, June 11th at Sweet Rhythm

Source: Jim Eigo, Jazz Promo Services

COME OUT AND CELEBRATE THE MACK AVENUE RELEASE OF CARL ALLEN AND RODNEY WHITAKER MONDAY, JUNE 11TH SWEET RHYTHM 88 7TH AVENUE SOUTH NEW YORK, NY (212) 255-3626 SET TIMES: 8 & 10 PM

CARL ALLEN - DRUMS RODNEY WHITAKER - BASS GEORGE COLLIGAN - PIANO STEVE WILSON - SAXOPHONES RODNEY JONES - GUITAR

“They've created ...

Photos

Music

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Deep in the Soil

Origin Records
2024

buy

Stanco's Time

OA2 Records
2024

buy

DreamLand

OA2 Records
2023

buy

Each Step

OA2 Records
2022

buy

Nomad

Origin Records
2022

buy

Showtime

From: Stanco's Time
By Rodney Whitaker

Call to Order

From: Deep in the Soil
By Rodney Whitaker

The Lost Tune

From: The Door is Open: The Music of...
By Rodney Whitaker

Hit the Road to Dreamland

From: DreamLand
By Rodney Whitaker

Betty's Tune

From: Oasis: The Music of Gregg Hill
By Rodney Whitaker

Andy's Lament

From: Puppets: The Music of Gregg Hill
By Rodney Whitaker

Bird, Bird, Bluebird

From: Nomad
By Rodney Whitaker

Each Step

From: Each Step
By Rodney Whitaker

S.O.S.

From: Rust Belt Roots: Randy Napoleon...
By Rodney Whitaker

Outrospection

From: Outrospection: The Music of...
By Rodney Whitaker

In the Bleak Midwinter

From: Cranbrook Christmas Jazz
By Rodney Whitaker

Realization

From: Realization
By Rodney Whitaker

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