The 14-piece Brown University Jazz Band has been spending this week in Havana on a cultural exchange that brings them in personal contact with musicians of the island. The visit is sponsored by the university’s Music Department and Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies.
On the musicians’ schedule for Thursday (Jan. 16) was a concert at the Guevara Hall in the House of the Americas that included the music of famous American composers, such as Duke Ellington, Thad Jones, Herbie Hancock, and Dave Holland.
The band is directed by professor Matthew McGarrell, a senior lecturer in music who specializes in Portuguese band music.
Founded in 1764, Brown University is situated in Providence, Rhode Island. Its music department is renowned in academia, featuring a symphony orchestra, a wind ensemble, the Jazz Band and numerous small combos that specialize in ethnic music, such as music from the Caribbean. The department sponsors an astounding 100-plus concerts per year.
In recent years, the Jazz Band has toured Rome, Coimbra (Portugal), Reykjavik (Iceland) and Dublin. It has also traveled to Montreal, London, Tokyo, Amsterdam and Madrid.