Costa Rica - CU's John Gunther
Dr. John Gunther, Director of the Thompson Jazz Studies Program at the University of Colorado – Boulder, joined Rafael in a trip to Costa Rica to promote the College of Music’s “Strategic Vision” and to conduct advanced planning for a proposed 2017 CU Jazz Department tour. Their schedule included daily meetings with key individuals in which they discussed CU’s vision for creating collaborative partnerships with other institutions and promoting the College of Music’s international profile through joint ventures such as touring, scholarships, student and faculty exchanges, and performance. Meeting participants included the director of the School of Music at the University of Costa Rica, the General Director of National Bands, the Executive Director of the National Symphony, and other key individuals.
John performed as soloist with the National Band of Cartago, one of seven national bands in the country, featuring the Costa Rican premiere of John Macky’s “Concerto for Soprano Saxophone,” along with Rafael who was proud to share the stage with him as guest conductor for the evening. Dr. Gunther also performed as guest artist with the New Jazz Project, one of three professional big bands in Costa Rica. The week began with a visit to Pérez Zeledon, three hours south of the capitol San José, at which John gave master classes in improvisation and rehearsed with two student big bands at the Escuela de Música.
Dr. Gunther expects to return next year along with his entire jazz department to appear as headliners and the opening act for the Costa Rica Jazz Festival 2017.