MSUFCU Jazz Artist in Residence program announces dazzling mix of stars

Summer Solstice Festival in East Lansing starts Friday
Posted at 9:57 AM, Sep 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-15 09:57:58-04

A mix of musicians will energize Michigan from October through March, marking the fifth year of the MSUFCU Jazz Artist in Residence program coordinated by the Michigan State University College of Music.

The college’s residency program attracts high-level talent to teach, mentor and perform at both the university and K-12 schools and academies across the state. Made possible by a $1 million endowment from the MSU Federal Credit Union, the program has positioned MSU as a model for jazz studies programs nationwide.

The program features a lineup of working musicians, composers and educators who draw on a multitude of jazz traditions and styles, and includes trumpeter Michael Philip Mossman, drummer Harvey Mason, pianist Helen Sung and saxophonist Steve Wilson.

“The MSU Federal Credit Union’s generosity and vision has made it possible for MSU to continue to become a center of excellence for jazz education, innovation and study,” said Rodney Whitaker, director of jazz studies. “Thanks to their leadership and their support, we can continue to attract the talent and resources to ensure the great artistic treasure of American Jazz will be experienced by current and future generations.”

Mossman will be the first of four scheduled artists for residencies this academic year, and will be with MSU Jazz Studies Oct. 9-15. He has toured with a virtual who’s who of the music industry and has recorded with his own bands in traditional and Latin-based styles. While at MSU, Mossman will mentor College of Music students and perform for the public.

Mossman performs with MSU Jazz Orchestras I, II and III at 8 p.m. Oct. 13 in MSU Auditorium’s Fairchild Theatre. He will also visit high schools, art academies and community colleges statewide, accompanied by MSU Jazz Orchestra I. 

Following Mossman, Mason, Sung and Wilson will electrify the winter and spring through three separate, weeklong residencies. The lineup provides students and the community a rare opportunity to listen to and learn from high-energy, well-known musicians.

The MSUFCU Jazz Artist in Residence program represents the largest-ever investment in the college’s curriculum and provides one-on-one instruction, collaboration and performance opportunities with some of the world’s best jazz musicians.

Weeklong residencies in the past have included 16 artists, workshops, concerts, events and outreach to more than 27,332 students and adults in communities across Michigan.