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WSU Department Of Music Jazz Tribute To Matt Michaels

WSU Department Of Music Jazz Tribute To Matt Michaels

Wayne State University's Department of Music continues its Centennial Series with a tribute concert presenting the music of the late Professor and Director of Jazz Studies at Wayne State Matt Michaels. The event will take place on December 3 at the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center. Michaels was among the founders of the Jazz Studies program at Wayne State in 1979 and eventually became the director. He retired from WSU in 2007. The concert will be a presentation of his original compositions and orchestrations.

"He was a marvelous jazz pianist, arranger and composer," said Russ Miller associate professor of Jazz Studies. "He was a revered teacher who influenced generations of musicians - and not just pianists. Many of his students have gone on to have successful careers in music."

This concert is an outgrowth of Professor Miller's research into and archiving of Matt Michaels' music, particularly his orchestrations. A number of his pieces involve the use of the orchestra in combination with jazz trio, jazz big band, vocalists and featured instrumental soloists.

"For the Wayne State Department of Music, this is a unique opportunity to combine the orchestra with the jazz band in a joint performance - not just sharing a concert but performing as one ensemble" said Professor Miller.

These orchestrations were written and premiered in the mid-1990's and have not been performed since. This concert brings the music of Matt Michaels back into the spotlight. Additionally, as part of the archival process Professor Miller is producing a studio recording of these orchestrations as well as his own arrangements of some of Matt's original compositions with an anticipated release during spring or early summer.

For more information, visit or call (313) 577-1795.

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