MSU’s Be-Bop Spartans jazz to perform Saturday.

October 8, 2015
Be-Bop Spartans

Be-Bop Spartans

VICTORY TOWNSHIP (Mason County) – The West Shore Community College Performing Arts Series will feature Michigan State University’s Bebop Spartans at 7:30 p.m., this Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015 at the Center Stage Theater on WSCC’s main campus.

Trumpeter and Grammy award winner Brian Lynch will be a featured special guest.

The next generation of great American jazz musicians is represented in this spectacular ensemble from MSU. Improvisation, bebop, swing, blues, and soul are just a few genres of this American art form that the Bebop Spartans will be performing.

Michigan State University has become the national powerhouse of jazz education.  Under the direction of Professor Rodney Whitaker, MSU has recruited some of the world’s finest young jazz musicians.  The Bebop Spartans, MSU’s jazz big band, is a culmination of Whitaker’s talent.

This year’s guest artist Brian Lynch brings to his music an unparalleled depth and breadth of experience.  An honored graduate of two of the jazz world’s most distinguished academies, Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers and the Horace Silver Quintet, he has received wide acclaim during his long tenures with Latin jazz legend Eddie Palmieri and straight ahead master Phil Woods. He has also been a valued collaborator with jazz artists such as Benny Golson, Toshiko Akiyoshi, and Charles McPherson; Latin music icons as diverse as Hector LaVoe and Lila Downs; and pop luminaries such as Prince.

As a bandleader and recording artist, Lynch has released over 20 critically acclaimed CDs featuring his distinctive composing and arranging, and toured the world with various ensembles reflecting the wide sweep of his music.

He currently is Associate Professor at the Frost School of Music, University of Miami, as well as conducting clinics and workshops at prestigious institutions of learning the world over.

His talents have been recognized by top placements in the “Downbeat” critic’s and reader’s polls (#3 trumpet critic’s poll); highly rated reviews for his work in “Downbeat,” “Jazziz” and “Jazz Times;” 2005 and 2007 Grammy award nominations, and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Chamber Music America, and Meet the Composer.

Due to a generous $1,000,000 donation to the MSU School of Music Jazz Department from the Michigan State University Federal Credit Union, the MSU Bebop Spartans are able to travel to three Michigan locations accompanied by world-renowned guest artists and the college is one of MSU’s three annual performance locations.

“I am very proud of the partnership the college has developed with both Michigan State University’s jazz department and Wharton Center for the Performing Arts.  Every year our audiences provide a warm reception for MSU’s artists which in turn, keep them coming back year after year,” says Ted Malt, WSCC Director of Performing Arts and Professor of Music Studies.

“This evening is very special in that our audiences get to witness a true musical spectacle consisting of 19 of the best young jazz musicians in the country, an incredible guest artist, and the entire MSU Jazz faculty,” Malt adds.

An afterglow jam session will be held at the Jamesport Brewing Company, 410 South James Street in Ludington, starting at approximately 10 p.m.  There is no cover charge for this event, however early seating or reservations are highly recommended.

Tickets for this event can be purchased online at or by calling the WSCC Box Office at 231-843-5507, which is open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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