From 16 February to 8 March 2007, the Center for International and Regional Studies (CIRS) in Doha sponsored a series of programs on the American arts, entitled the American Arts Festival. The Center at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar (SFS-Qatar), conducts programs of scholarship, research, and public outreach in the fields of international and regional affairs. CIRS keeps in touch with its surrounding environment by providing various cultural and educational programs that communicate with both the local population and the larger international arena.
Jazz is America’s greatest contribution to music, and among the most distinctive expressions of twentieth-century American culture. Originating in West African and African-American roots, later joined by Latin, European and other influences, jazz exhibits the rich diversity of American society. Its swinging rhythms, improvised melodies, and angular sound evoke the dynamism of a fast-paced, urban and industrial world. It is difficult to define “jazz,” just as it is difficult to grasp the essence of “America” – which makes this Festival an invitation to grapple with the question, more than a ticket to the answer.
The Juilliard Jazz Orchestra is the big band of the Juilliard School of music in New York City. Composed of graduate and undergraduate students and directed by Victor L. Goines, the Orchestra has performed throughout the United States and around the world, bringing its music to audiences and education to students, expanding the enjoyment and appreciation of jazz. While in Qatar, the Orchestra gave public performances at the Qatar National Theater and Education City.
Jazz Week Participant Biographies:
The Juilliard Jazz Orchestra made its debut in October 2001. Since then, the orchestra has appeared in venues throughout the United States, Europe, and Central America, performing repertoire from across the spectrum of jazz history, from Duke Ellington and Hoagy Carmichael to Wynton Marsalis and other composers of our time. Works by the jazz students themselves are often highlights of the concerts. The orchestra is conducted by Victor L. Goines, the program’s artistic director, and faculty member Wycliffe Gordon.
Victor L. Goines is the artistic Director of Jazz Studies at Juilliard. He has performed with numerous renowned jazz artists and has many recordings and film soundtracks to his credit. A member of the Winton Marsalis Quartet and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, he is also Educational Consultant for Jazz at Lincoln Center. He has taught at the University of New Orleans, Florida A & M, Loyola, and Xavier Universities.
Wycliffe Gordon is a faculty member in the Jazz Studies department at Juilliard. Mr. Gordon leads frequent workshops and master classes, and serves as a mentor during the annual Essentially Ellington Competition & Festival. Mr. Gordon was received the 2006 Jazz Critics Award for Best Trombone from the Jazz Journalists Association. He has been a Juilliard Jazz faculty member since the program’s inception in 2001. He began playing trombone at age 12. He is a member of the Wynton Marsalis Septet, Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, and Wycliffe Gordon Quartet.
Doha Jazz Band The Doha Jazz Quintet, formed in 2003, is a collective of Qatar’s ex-patriot jazz musicians. Many different musicians have come and gone through the 4 years since its inception, however the two main stays throughout this time have been Chris Coull (Trumpet) and John Petrie (Bass) who are currently joined by Richard Perks (Guitar), Fraser Dodd (Saxophone) and Adil Rhassan (Drums). The Doha Jazz quintet can be seen at the Ritz Carlton every Friday for brunch and at the fortnightly jazz evenings in Habanos cigar bar.