The School of Music (SOM) held its annual Brazilian Music Institute May 22-27 at Broward College and ended with the concert Terra Brazil Meets Jazz.
The program, now in its 17th year, was started by UF SOM Associate Professor Welson Tremura, Ph.D, in 2001 to provide a more immersive Latin American music experience.
“It’s a mix of classes, workshops, presentation, rehearsals and training,” Tremura said. “It culminates with a concluding concert.”
The Brazilian Music Institute is a week long intensive program that brings Brazilian musicians in to teach students, and even some faculty, in the program about different kinds of Brazilian music. Every year it is themed based on the artist(s) present.
“We try to bring the different regions of the country,” Tremura said. “Never expect to have the same institute every year. It’s a different experience based on the artist.”
This year, the theme was Northeastern Brazilian jazz and featured Sinhô Francisco, Cesinha and guest band, Brazilian Voices. Other musicians included Ulisses Rocha, Welson Tremura, Larry Crook, Vadim Arsky, Alex Berti, Jason Hainsworth, Mike Orta, Scott Wilson and Beatriz Malnic.
The large variety of musicians offers learning opportunities for singers, guitarists, percussionists, drummers, pianists and more.
“It doesn't matter what they do, they all have something to contribute,” Tremura said. “It's a challenging and fun environment.”
UF has a strong Latin American studies program, and the institute is another way for students to learn about Latin America’s different cultures and music. Tremura said he believes UF is one of the only universities to offer an institute like this.
“It’s important because it adds an educational component in training that makes UF a unique place that provides that,” Tremura said.
Tremura said the program has grown over the years, and he normally starts planning in October or November. The program also gained more recognition after it received an award from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
“Anything in music needs support in order to exist,” Tremura said. “I'm just thankful that we're able to continue this journey.”