Internationally renowned bassist and Mack Avenue recording artist Rodney Whitaker is a Michigan State University distinguished professor of jazz double bass and director of Jazz Studies. He is one of the leading performers and teachers of jazz double bass in the United States. Rodney is a life-time member of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, conductor/bassist of the Dr. Phillips Center Jazz Orchestra-Orlando, FL, and director of the Geri Allen Fellows Gathering Orchestra-Detroit, MI. Whitaker has toured extensively with jazz trumpeter, Roy Hargrove. In addition, he has appeared and presented master classes at the International Association of Jazz Educators Conferences, Barbican in London, Duke University, Howard University and countless other universities. Rodney is featured on more than 250 recordings – from film to compact discs and has performed with; Natalie Cole, Bob James, Diana Krall, Branford Marsalis, Dianne Reeves, Kathleen Battle, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Cassandra Wilson, Mulgrew Miller, Chick Corea, Pat Matheny, Jimmy Heath, Antonio Hart, John Lewis, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Crosby, Stills & Nash just to name a few. He’s also performed with Ray Charles, Dizzy Gillespie, Joe Henderson, Donald Byrd, Tommy Flanagan, Marian McPartland, Hank Jones, Frank Morgan and Betty Carter. Whether you find life-long pioneer, bassist, composer, recording artist, educator and mentor Rodney Whitaker performing on stage, conducting a master class, recording in a studio or mapping out plans for the future of jazz with members of the community, he has whole-heartedly embraced the JAZZ legacy life-force with an integral pledge of distinction, integrity and great promise.