CJO Mingus and Maynard with Rodney Whitaker and Walter WhiteMay 2015 • Feinberg Theater @ Venue Six10, Chicago
By the time the CJO reached the climactic pages of “Black Saint,” the music came closer than ever to achieving the depth of sound and rhythmic fury that Mingus envisioned…. Later in the evening, the band was in its element in music from early in trumpeter Maynard Ferguson’s career, with Walter White taking on the unenviable task of evoking Ferguson’s stratospheric blasts.”
Howard ReichChicago Tribune
The Chicago Jazz Orchestra presented the Chicago premiere of Charles Mingus’s The Black Saint and The Sinner Lady, considered by many to be his finest composition. Bassist Rodney Whitaker joined the CJO for this historic performance. On the second half of the program, trumpeter Walter White joined the CJO to present a unique tribute to the great Maynard Ferguson. This tribute will featured arrangements from Maynard’s exciting early-60’s band, including works by Willie Maiden, J.J. Johnson, and Slide Hampton.
About Rodney Whitaker:
Internationally renowned bassist and Mack Avenue 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 United States of America. He is considered one of the leading performers and teachers of the jazz double bass in the United States. Whitaker has performed and toured with over 100+ legendary performing jazz artists over the past 25+ years. Featured on more than 100+ recordings – from film to compact discs – Whitaker’s film scores, China, directed by Jeff Wray, was released on PBS Fall 2002 and Malaria and Malawi, released on PBS Fall 2010. Also, Whitaker has a DVD release featuring Michigan State University’s Jazz Department entitled, “Inside Jazz” and three new compact discs entitled, “Get Ready” & “Work To Do”—both on Mack Avenue Records and “Better Than Alright” by Michigan State University College of Music.
About Walter White:
Walter White grew up in a musical family near Detroit, MI which inspired him to begin his musical career. Walter learned to play the baritone horn and tuba before settling on trumpet by age nine. Trained at Interlochen Center For the Arts, The Juilliard School, the University of Miami, and The Banff Centre, Walter’s former teachers include William Vacchiano, John Lindenau, Vincent Cichowicz, Mel Broiles, Leon Rapier, Carmine Caruso, Jerome Amend, and Kenny Wheeler.Walter’s expressive trumpet-playing led him to collaborate with many of the top names in music including: Bob James, Dave Holland, the Mingus Big Band, the Woody Herman Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Gunther Schuller, the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, The Jaco Pastorius Big Band, and Arturo Sandoval. This list also includes David Matthew’s Manhattan Jazz Orchestra with whom Walter recorded seven award-winning records for the Japanese market. During the early 1990′s, Walter toured and recorded with his boyhood hero, trumpeter Maynard Ferguson, and is featured on the CD, Live from London, playing “The Fox Hunt,” a sizzling duet with Maynard recorded at the world-famous jazz club, Ronnie Scott’s, in London’s Soho district.Presently, Walter serves as leader of the Walter White Jazz Quartet, and his 11-piece ‘big-band,’ Walter White & Small Medium @ Large, who recently released the recording, Breaking Good, which received substantial national radio play and reached into the top 20 on the Jazz Week charts. The band opened for Pat Metheny at the 2012 Detroit Jazz Festival and was featured performers at the 2013 International Trumpet Guild Conference, playing their own set and backing up trumpet great, Arturo Sandoval.Walter’s playing has enhanced the sound tracks of records, movies, and television, including network sitcoms, TAXI and The Cosby Show. As a recording studio owner, Walter produces music for records, television, and film. In 1994, Walter produced the Walter White Long-tone Accompaniment, a play-along CD for music practice, now in its third printing.
Walter has been commissioned to write and to arrange for large jazz ensembles and small groups, choirs, woodwind quartets, and brass ensembles. He has composed numerous original works for big band and his American Songbook arrangements for Symphonic Pops have become an audience favorite.
In addition to his performance and touring schedule, Walter is active as an educator. He teaches privately and holds master classes at music schools across the country and abroad. Walter is a frequent guest soloist with leading university jazz ensembles and has been an artist-in-residence at Rutgers University, Interlochen Center for the Arts, and Tulsa University