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VCUarts Faculty Lecture Series: Lessons from Jazz

October 5, 2021 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm free


VCU Institute for Contemporary Art
601 W. Broad Street
Richmond, VA, 23220
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Hybrid Event
In Person: Institute for Contemporary Art
Online: Register now

Lessons from Jazz: What Improvisation Can Teach Us About Learning, Mastery and Innovation

Rex Richardson, Professor of Trumpet and Jazz Studies

To many non-musicians, it may appear that great jazz players are blessed by some gift for extemporaneous creation; that it’s not something that cannot be practiced. This lecture will discuss the complicated, years-long process of gaining mastery in the highly structured medium of jazz and explore ways in which jazz improvisation can lend to a broader understanding of learning, achieving mastery, and becoming an innovator.


Renowned as a champion of new, genre-busting music, Yamaha Performing Artist Rex Richardson was named the 2008 Brass Herald International Personality of the Year. A veteran of global tours with Rhythm & Brass and jazz legend Joe Henderson, his hundreds of international soloist engagements include appearances with the Phoenix Symphony and Thailand Philharmonic Orchestras. His latest of nine albums Freedom of Movement: 21st Century Trumpet Concertos was released to critical acclaim. Having taught at VCU since 2002, he was presented the 2009 Award of Excellence from the School of the Arts and received the 2011 Theresa Pollack Prize for Excellence in the Arts.

Previous lectures in the series may be viewed here