Michigan Institute for Contemporary Art (MICA) will host the 19th annual Lansing JazzFest On August 2 and 3, Lansing’s Old Town neighborhood.
Rodney Whitaker is an internationally renowned bassist, considered one of the leading performers and teachers of jazz bass in the United States. He is Director of Jazz Studies at Michigan State University, where he has built one of the country’s leading jazz degree programs. Whitaker’s quartet will play two sets, featuring the striking vocalist Rockelle Fortin and the vibrant trumpeter Terell Stafford.
Terell Stafford was described as “one of the great players of our time, a fabulous trumpet player” by legendary jazz pianist McCoy Tyner. Stafford is currently a member of the Grammy-winning Vanguard Jazz Orchestra as well as several other groups. He has recorded six albums as band leader and has appeared on over 90 albums.
Mardra Thomas’ musical career started when she performed for Dizzy Gillespie’s 70th birthday. Her mesmerizing vocals have been touted by critics for their control and phrasing. The Mardra & Reggie Thomas Experience also features pianist/organist Reggie Thomas, and will be joined at JazzFest by talented drummer Montez Coleman.