Lansing JazzFest Artist Feature: David Rosin's Grand Rapids Quartet

CREATED Jul 30, 2013

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Midwest native and Michigan State graduate, David Rosin is a double bassist who has studied music for the majority of his life. He is one of the most in demand bassists in Michigan. Through out his career, Rosin has performed concerts with many top jazz artists including Johnny O'Neal, Wycliff Gordon, Barry Harris, and Bobby Watson, just to name a few. Currently, he plays full time as a member of the Fred Knapp Trio, The String Doctors, and Ray Kamalay's Red Hot Peppers.

Rosin has traveled the world playing jazz music. In 1997, he traveled across Australia with the Andrew Speight quartet and recorded a CD that won an Australian Recording Industry Award (ARIA) for Best Jazz Album in 1998.

Rosin played at the very first JazzFest and has continued appearing over on and off over the past nineteen years with different groups. This year, Rosin will be presenting a quartet of musicians that are both near and dear to him. The ensemble will feature up and coming trumpeter Chris Lawrence, Terry Lower on the piano, and Fred Knapp on the drums. The quartet will present a high energy set of standards, bop, as well as original compositions and arrangements.

We spoke with David Rosin about his personal association to the world of jazz and how he went about forming this particular quartet of musicians.

Jane Sugiyama: Tell us about yourself and your musical background.

David Rosin: I am a double bass player. I graduated from Michigan State where I received my Master's in musical education.

JS: When did you discover jazz?

DR: Early on, probably in high school, I was exposed to jazz. I had many relatives that played jazz music, but it was my father who really sparked my interest. Because my dad and family listened to it so much, it was sort of something that just caught on and before I knew it, I was sold.

JS: What can fans expect from the quartet at JazzFest, in terms of who inspires the music that you will play?

DR: It will definitely be out of the 1945's to 50's, so during the traditional swing and be-bop era. I chose this style because some of my favorite musicians are from that era.

JS: How did the quartet come about?

DR: The Lansing JazzFest asked me to put together a group of musicians from the Grand Rapids area. The piano player, Terry Lower, has been a mentor to me. In my high school years, I would go and hear him play in the Detroit area where I grew up. I have played with him on and off for the past ten years, and it's always an honor to play when I have the chance to play alongside him. Fred Knapp, the drummer, I met about twelve years ago and we just became good friends. We have done four albums together, and play in a Grand Rapids trio together. Lastly, Chris Lawrence, the trumpet player, went to Western Michigan. I've known about him for the past five or so years, and when he graduated from Western he became one of the main guys on the jazz scene in the Grand Rapids area.

JS: What are you looking forward to at JazzFest this weekend?

DR: I'm very excited because I got to put together this awesome group of individuals, and just being a part of the festival will be fun. I know it will be a great event.

Catch David Rosin's Grand Rapids Quartet this Saturday, August 3rd on the Main Stage from 4-5:30PM.