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MSU College of Music Welcomes Branford Marsalis to Campus

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EAST LANSING, Mich. – Three-time Grammy winner and renowned jazz saxophonist Branford Marsaliswill join MSU Jazz Orchestra I (The Be-Bop Spartans) for a swingin’ good time   7:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 3, at Wharton Center’s Pasant Theatre.


Swingin’ with the Be-Bop Spartans and Branford Marsalis, the fourth of five concerts in this season’s MSU Federal Credit Union Showcase Series, will feature a variety of jazz music including works by John Coltrane and Oliver Nelson. The MSU Professors of Jazz, directed by Rodney Whitaker, will sit in on the concert adding their talents to the mix.


“Jazz lovers will not want to miss this amazing opportunity to see and hear Branford perform,” says Whitaker, who also conducts the Be-Bop Spartans and directs jazz studies at Michigan State.


Whitaker recalls the years when Marsalis served on the jazz faculty at MSU as a visiting guest artist in the late 1990s. “Branford, and the entire Marsalis family, comes from a long tradition of commitment to jazz education and a willingness to mentor the next generation of jazz musicians,” Whitaker says. “He is a fine musician, and a great teacher. Our students will definitely be on the receiving end while Branford is in town.”


Marsalis will work directly with students during a master class (free and open to the public) on Friday, May 4, at 2:30 p.m. in Hart RecitalHall in the Music Building. He will also serve as the speaker for the College of Music’s commencement on Saturday, May 5, 4 p.m. at Wharton Center.


Ticket information for concert

Tickets — $20, $18 for senior citizens, and $10 for students and those under 18 — are only available from the Wharton Center Box Office, (517) 432-2000, (800) WHARTON. Concert is sponsored by Ken and Sandy Beall.

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