Lansing Symphony Jazz Band features guest

Posted at 10:59 AM, Mar 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-15 11:34:07-04

The Lansing Symphony Jazz Band finishes their season with guest vocalist, Sunny Wilkinson on Sunday, March 20 at 7 p.m. in the Pasant Theatre at Wharton Center for Performing Arts. Under the direction of Ron Newman, the 17 piece band features the finest jazz musicians in Michigan performing classics from the big band era to jazz and contemporary selections. Tickets are $20 for general admission and only $10 for students.

Included in the program is music ranging from Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Agua de Beber" to the wonderful ballad "Young and Foolish," a contemporary version of Thelonious Monk's "Straight, No Chaser." The rest of the program features other works from the American jazz songbook.

Sunny Wilkinson’s performance credits are impressive, having sung with The Count Basie Band, Rob McConnell and the Boss Brass, Mark Murphy, Kenny Wheeler, Clark Terry, Curtis Fuller, Bill Watrous, Milt Hinton, and Edgar Winter, among many others. Wilkinson was the head of Vocal Jazz Area at Michigan State University for 18 years. She regularly appears as a guest artist at jazz festivals and a clinician at universities all around the country. Wilkinson served as a President of the Michigan chapter of the International Association of Jazz Educators (IAJE) for their Women’s Caucus, creating “Sisters in Jazz” as a mentoring program for young women jazz musicians, of which was taken to an international level through IAJE. Wilkinson has produced several CDs, most recently, A Gentle Time – When Sunny Meets Tom.
A well-known performer, professor and composer, Newman is an active member of the performing arts scene. No stranger to the classical and jazz circuit, Newman has received numerous composition commissions, including the National Endowment for the Humanities and The New York Concert Artist’s Guild. On the academia side, Newman has been a member of the Michigan State University faculty since 1980, serving as Director of Jazz Studies from 1980 until 1995, and currently Professor of Music Theory. He received his undergraduate degree in Music Education from University of North Texas, and Master’s and Ph.D. degrees in Music Composition from Michigan State University.

Lansing Symphony Orchestra Jazz Band tickets are available to purchase online at or by calling the office at 517-487-5001.

Doors will open 30 minutes early for those who wish to purchase their tickets before the concert.

The Jazz Band Series is presented by Extend Your Reach and Gregg Hill & Lois Mummaw. The concert is sponsored by John & Fran Loose.