Rodney Whitaker to be Guest Artist for SWIC Jazz Festival on February 21


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Bassist Rodney Whitaker (pictured) will be the guest artist and clinician at the 2009 Southwestern Illinois College Jazz Festival, to be held on Saturday, February 21 at SWIC's Belleville Campus Theatre, 2500 Carlyle Ave.

Whitaker, who currently performs with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and serves as chair of jazz studies at Michigan State University, will give a master class at 1:00 p.m., perform with the SWIC Jazz Band at 2:00 p.m., and present a concert at 7:30 p.m. with a small group including pianist Reggie Thomas, guitarist Rick Haydon and drummer Marty Morrison.

Whitaker is a native of Detroit who has been active in jazz education throughout his career. In addition to the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, his touring and recording credits include work with top trumpeters Terence Blanchard, Roy Hargrove and Wynton Marsalis, saxophonists Donald Harrison, Kenny Garrett and Carl Allen, keyboardist Bob James, and others.

The SWIC Jazz Festival begins at 8:30 a.m. and continues all day, with performances by student jazz ensembles from Belleville West High School, Althoff Catholic High School, O'Fallon High School and Central and West Junior High, as well as the SWIC Jazz Band. All events are free and open to the public.

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This story appears courtesy of St. Louis Jazz Notes by Dean Minderman.
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