Internationally renowned bassist and Origin Records recording artist, Rodney Whitaker, currently holds the titles of Professor of Jazz Bass and Director of Jazz Studies at Michigan State University where he has built one of the leading jazz degree programs and performing faculty in the world. For over 25 years, he has taught jazz at Michigan State University so it comes as no surprise that he also uses the stage to educate his audiences about the music he loves so dearly.

Rodney Whitaker is considered one of the leading performers and teachers of the jazz double bass in the world. He has performed and toured more than 100 legendary performing jazz artists, and is featured on over 100 recordings.He is also the Artistic Director of the Michigan State University Professors of Jazz, former Artistic Advisor of Jazz @ Wharton Center, Director of Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s Civic Jazz Orchestra and a former member of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. Whitaker received his first national recognition performing with the Harrison/Blanchard Quintet.

His relationship with the Carr Center spans for the better part of 20 years now. He founded our Jazz Education program and the MSU Professors of Jazz ensemble was our resident Jazz ensemble during the formative years. Rodney himself has been the Resident Artist at the Carr Center for more than 10 years now. Currently, he also serves as artistic director for The Gathering Orchestra, our Geri Allen Fellows, a professional development program for gifted,early career musicians.

Rodney performs with the star-studded ensemble in “A Season Spectacualr, November 6th