jazz music | WMUK

jazz music

Dominic Gladstone

Andrew Rathbun is the professor of saxophone at Western Michigan University. He's also a composer and recording artist who's released "around" 15 albums, and a colleague of Jazz Currents host Keith Hall, who teaches jazz drumming at WMU. For the first time in the series, Rathbun persuades Hall to play with him and bassist John Hébert, who joined the WMU jazz faculty in 2019. 


Casey Spring Photography

Keith Hall, a professional jazz drummer and Western Michigan University music professor, has added another project to his plate: podcast host. The first episode of Real Music Talk will premiere on Sep 1. 


Brandon Yenchus, via Jane Kozhevnikova

Charts by jazz greats Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Thad Jones, and Paquito D'Rivera all have a place on tonight's concert by the Western Michigan University Jazz Lab Band and the WMU Jazz Orchestra, but it doesn't stop there. In a conversation with Cara Lieurance, jazz studies professor Dr. Scott Cowan and graduate student/composer Eddie Codrington highlight new and original pieces by Codrington himself ("Flaskling") and another student composer, Jane Kozhevnikova ("'Cause I Ain't Sugar"). 

The concert is at 7:30 pm at the Dalton Center Recital Hall. Tickets are available at the door or through the Miller Auditorium box office.


Gulnara Khamatova

The original music and improvisations of both Rob Clearfield and alto saxophonist Caroline Davis is the starting point for the jazz quartet Persona, which is bringing its new album, Anthems, on tour to Western Michigan University at 7:30 pm on Tuesday, Nov 12 in the Dalton Center Recital Hall. Joining them on the album, and on tour, are bassist Sam Weber and drummer Jay Sawyer, both Western Michigan University jazz alumni. All four Persona members and WMU professor of jazz drums Keith Hall joined Cara Lieurance in the studio to talk about their work and listen to some of the new tracks.


courtesy of the artist

Pianist Emilio Solla is a New York-based  jazz and tango composer and arranger originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina. A fan of Piazzolla's Nuevo Tango as a young performer, Solla says he learned to appreciate older tango styles at the height of his career as a jazz pianist. At 7:30 pm on Wednesday, Nov 6 in the Dalton Center Recital Hall, Solla will join the WMU Jazz Orchestra and faculty performers for a concert featuring his original compositions and arrangements. As he tells Cara Lieurance, many of his pieces expand on jazz or tango to embrace folk forms and sounds, in a process that allows cultures to meet and connections to form. Solla cautions classical musicians not to treat the tango, and Piazzolla's music, as "easy."

Emilio Solla's newest album is Puertos: Music from International Waters, featuring Solla and his Tango Jazz Orchestra. 


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