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Going Global With Jazz

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There's been an international theme to Juilliard Jazz's programming lately. In October, for instance, Jazz hosted a student ensemble from the Torino Conservatory in Italy; and the following month, the Artist Diploma Ensemble performed in Brazil and a student ensemble from the Tom Jobim Youth Orchestra in São Paulo performed at Juilliard. Jazz has also organized international opportunities for students in Japan, the Cayman Islands, Switzerland, and Abu Dhabi.

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“We've exploded the number of international partnerships we've done this year,” said Aaron Flagg (BM '92, MM '93, trumpet), chair and associate director of the department. He was speaking as Juilliard Jazz was in the midst of a student exchange with the James Morrison Academy in Mt. Gambier, Australia. Six Australian students spent almost two weeks this spring in New York, where they were paired with six Juilliard Jazz students to form an ensemble. Over the course of their New York stay, the visitors participated in rehearsals, improv sessions, jazz history and music theory classes, took in performances at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, and wrote music for the combined group. Afterward the 12 students flew to Australia to complete the exchange. The Juilliard students return to New York on May 7.

“This is part of our larger vision of having our students engage with the global jazz community,” Flagg said. “Our interest is not just to put students on the plane, go to a hotel, go to a concert hall, and then back on the plane,” Flagg said. “When they go to another country, we want to make sure they are experiencing the country's culture—getting a taste of what that part of the world's musical contributions are.”

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By Llewellyn Sanchez-Werner

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