On the occasion of the 10th year of the Kurt Maas Jazz Award, the University of Music and Theatre Munich (HMTM), supported by entrepreneur and jazz promoter Camilo Dornier, is awarding the Kurt Maas Jazz Scholarship for the first time. The scholarship promotes the worldwide networking of the Munich Jazz Institute by inviting international young talents to Munich.
This year, this sponsorship went to the Brazilian musicians André Kusmitsch (piano) and Feldeman de Oliveira Lacerda (trombone).
André Kusmitsch and Feldeman de Oliveira Lacerda were invited to Munich as guest students from June 17, 2023 to July 17, 2023, and worked with the students of the Jazz Institute in various workshops and performed as part of the winner's concert of the Kurt Maas Jazz Award 2023 on July 12 at the Isarphilharmonie in the Gasteig HP8.
For the first award of the Scholarship this year, the Jazz Institute has selected two institutions in São Paulo that stand for innovative jazz education in Brazil: the Faculdade de Música Souza Lima College and the EMESP Tom Jobim Music School. The Faculdade de Música Souza Lima College in São Paulo, which works closely with the Berklee College of Music, has a high-caliber Jazz and Samba Jazz Education. The EMESP Tom Jobim Music School in São Paulo is a socio-cultural project that intensively promotes musical talent from the most diverse neighborhoods of the city. Internal competitions have taken place at both institutions to award the Scholarship.
The pianist André Kuzmitsch and the trombonist Feldeman de Oliveira Lacerda (Copyright photo left: Heloísa Bortz)
Twenty-one-year-old André Kusmitsch began playing the piano at the age of seven and discovered his interest in Brazilian music and jazz at an early age. In 2016, he began music lessons at the EMESP Tom Jobim State Music School (Escola de Música do Estado de São Paulo Tom Jobim), where he was taught by Guilherme Ribeiro and Sizao Machado, among others. In 2019, he began his undergraduate studies at Faculdade de Música Souza Lima in cooperation with Berklee College of Music in Boston. He plays in the Souza Lima Big Band and is also the pianist and keyboardist of Sexteto Aurum, an ensemble sponsored by EMESP's Career Development Center.
Feldeman de Oliveira Lacerda, 24, first received music lessons at the age of eight and has played the trombone since he was 11. He eventually began studying trombone at the Conservatório Musical Villa Lobos in São Paulo, participated in a study exchange with the Juilliard School in New York, and then completed his studies at the EMESP Tom Jobim State School of Music and the Faculdade Santa Marcelina College (FASM). During his studies, he already got the opportunity to perform with many renowned bands of the Brazilian music scene. He is currently pursuing postgraduate studies in Music Education at Faculdade de Música Souza Lima and recording his first album.
Photo l.t.r.: André Kusmitsch and Feldeman de Oliveira Lacerda with Beate Sampson and Prof. Claus Reichstaller at the KMJA award concert 2023 at the Isarphilharmonie (Copyright Gregory Giakis 2023)
São Paulo, 10.08.2023
Through this report, I would like to share a little bit about my experience during my stay in Munich from June 16 to July 17, 2023. The exchange was the result of a cooperation between EMESP Tom Jobim and the University of Music and Theatre Munich.
I would like to emphasize at the beginning that this exchange was of very high importance for both my artistic/professional and personal development. I am convinced that such projects contribute strongly to the individual development of the students involved.
The experience of being in a new country, speaking a different language, meeting new people and building new relationships has made me realize how much I still have to learn about the world. This is excellent because it makes me realize how much I can still grow as a musician, a trombonist, and as a person.
In terms of the college, I was very grateful for the warm welcome from all the staff, faculty, and fellow students. They were supportive and very helpful with everything we needed. The practical ensemble exercises, the big band, and the individual instrument lessons were of high quality and provided us with many interesting opportunities for exchange with the professors and students. And on top of that, we experienced a great openness to share our experiences with Brazilian music with all of them.
Lastly, I would like to emphasize how formative the experience of playing in places like the jazz clubs (Unterfahrt, Milla Club), the Isarphilharmonie (in a memorable concert with Ivan Lins) or at a festival in Regensburg was. These experiences will remain in my memory for the rest of my life and contribute greatly to the holistic development as a musician.
A tight hug,