International Jazz Exchange

VCU’s Jazz Studies Program recently completed a year-long partnership with the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) in Durban, South Africa. The partnership brought together American and African students in musical and personal understanding. Read more about their travel experiences and their forthcoming CD, “Leap of Faith,” at the Jazz Studies blog.

The project was developed by Professor Antonio J. Garcia, head of the Jazz Studies Program and Professor Neil Gonsalves at UKZN. VCU students participating in the project included:

Victor Haskins, trumpet
Justin Esposito, bass
C.J. Wolfe, drums
Brendan Schnabel, tenor sax
Trey Sorrells, alto sax
Chris Ryan, guitar

The VCU team first headed to Durban near the end of July 2012. The UKZN team visited VCU the last week of September 2012. Four new commissioned works for jazz sextet will follow, along with rehearsals and the continual exchange of resources, dialogues and musical ideas via the Internet. The installation of Source-Connect software for both teams will provide ISDN-line audio quality operating over the Internet, allowing the teams to perform for and coach each other’s teams while still at home a hemisphere apart. The VCU team returned to Durban in early March 2013, and the visit included performing a joint concert in Durban. In late March, the UKZN team visited VCU and both groups presented a joint concert. Both concerts were recorded for selective inclusion in a collaboratively released CD entitled “Leap of Faith” which will be released in Fall 2013.

This project is the latest in a series of international collaborations that the Jazz Studies Program has engaged in. Recently, several VCU faculty and students participated in the first VCU International Jazz Camp in Izmir, Turkey, which was created by alumnus Emre Kartari.