The UofL Jazz Studies Program was one of only a few prestigious institutions in the United States selected to participate in an international music exchange sponsored by the Open World Leadership Center at the Library of Congress. Support for the Open World cultural program was provided through partnership and funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. The Jazz Studies Program played host to six hand-selected groups of jazz musicians and jazz educators from throughout Russia. The goal was to afford these fine musicians and educators the opportunity to experience life in America with a special focus on jazz. In addition to home stays with area families, visiting local places of interest and witnessing our political process in action, their experience included taking lessons; participating in master classes; playing alongside our musicians in rehearsals, performance, jam and recording sessions; listening to jazz in a variety of venues and much more. In addition to UofL Jazz faculty, our guests worked with Chick Corea, Paquito D’Rivera, the Heath Brothers (Percy, Jimmy and Tootie), Jon Hendricks, David Baker, Jamey Aebersold, and pianist Harry Pickens to mention but a few.
Recently the Jazz Studies Program received a FIPSE/CAPES grant for the exchange of students between the University of Louisville and the Universidade de Brasília and Universidade Estadual de Campinas. Students from each institution will spend a semester studying and experiencing the music and culture of a foreign land.
Student and faculty groups, from a duo to more than forty, have toured and performed in numerous foreign countries. These countries include Argentina, Barbados, Brazil, Ecuador, England, Estonia, Finland, Italy, Poland, Russia, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago and Wales. In addition to our continued interaction with Russian and Brazilian musicians, there are exchange programs currently in place with the Akademia Muzyczna in Katowice, Poland; the Central Conservatorium of Music in Rockhampton, Australia; Universidade de Brasília in Brasilia, Brazil; and EMU Edcacion Musical in La Plata, Argentina. Exchanges with institutions in Ecuador and additional ones in Brazil are being developed. Finally, the Jazz Studies Program hosted the 2006 International Association of Schools of Jazz Annual Meeting and Jazz Faculty presented extended workshops in the Barbados (2006), Sao Paulo and Brasilia (2008) and Trinidad (2010).