North Central College - Naperville, IL

Jazz studies alum performs on “The Late Show with David Letterman”

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March 10, 2011—North Central alumnus Grant Gustafson recently performed on “The Late Show with David Letterman.”

Gustafson, a 2010 graduate who majored in jazz studies, appeared on the Feb. 25 broadcast playing electric bass behind up-and-coming singer-songwriter Jessica Lea Mayfield. In this photo, he's the second from the left.

Gustafson started playing guitar when he was a sophomore at Geneseo High School. At North Central, he sang with the Concert Choir and studied guitar with John McLean, a member of the College’s acclaimed jazz faculty. He says his major influences include Grant Green, Jackie McLean, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Dexter Gordon, Bill Frisell, John Scofield, Clifford Brown, J. Dilla, Ray Charles, Bob Dylan and Brian Blade.

On a fine spring day in 2010, Gustafson was among several music students playing an impromptu bluegrass jam session in Old Main Plaza. In this video, he’s the fellow on the far left playing mandolin.

These days Gustafson hobnobs with music stars in Nashville. Recent guests to his home include the members of Mumford & Sons, a British quartet compared to Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

Jazz studies is among more than 55 undergraduate majors offered at North Central. Visit to learn more.