Horns To Havana To Deliver 120 Donated Instruments To Cuban Students
(New York, NY) HORNS TO HAVANA will take a full planeload of musical
instruments and nearly another planeload of jazz musicians, luthiers and
brass, percussion and woodwind repair technicians to four Cuban music
academies from September 4-11.
All U.S. Government licenses and approvals have been granted that will
facilitate shipping and travel for Horns to Havana's lyrical cultural
exchange between the American jazz community and Cuban music students,
based on music with deeply shared African as well as European roots.
"Our venture to Cuba is the way jazz functions in the world," says the
organization's Artistic Director, Carlos Henriquez, "Horns to Havana is
the foundation of our soul when it comes to helping kids who want to
make music. We have come together in a way so positive that we have
generated new ways to teach and learn, methods that will make this trip
a memorable one."
Horns to Havana was created after Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at
Lincoln Center Orchestra visited Havana in October 2010 for a week of
performances and workshops, and saw the schools up close, all of them
containing large numbers of gifted students but small numbers of
instruments. A number of Jazz at Lincoln Center musicians are at the
heart of Horns to Havana, including bassist/arranger Carlos Henriquez,
reed-master Victor Goines, drummer Ali Jackson, trombonist Vincent
Gardner and Executive Committee member, producer Eric D. Wright. Joining
the group are saxophonist Erica von Kleist, and the Rodriguez brothers,
pianist Robert and trumpeter Michael, who, like the others, will work
with the kids, conducting master classes, listening and performing. New
York based luthier David Gage will head up a team of
masters-of-their-craft, musical-instrument-repair- technicians that
includes Jeffrey Bolbach, Kevin Gillins, Brian Katz and Andy Frobig.
Key to the all-volunteer effort have been some astoundingly productive
partnerships. Perhaps our most important partner is RS Berkeley Musical
Instruments, donor of a full orchestra's worth of brand new reeds,
brass, string and percussion instruments to the Amadeo Roldan
Conservatory. Les Silver, Berkeley's CEO, has also helped us purchase
other instruments and parts at substantial discounts. Ninety instruments
on their way to Havana schools come from RS Berkeley. Other partners who
made significant contributions include: the Sheldon Concert Hall's Music
for Lifelong Achievement Program in St. Louis, Missouri, that gathered
19 instruments; PlazaCuba in the San Francisco Bay area source of both a
substantial cash donation and some fine horns for Havana, as well as an
anonymous donor who gave us a matching kickoff grant of $75,000. The
Center for Cuban Studies in New York served as a base for Horns to
Havana's activities and many individuals helped us bring in over 120
first class trumpets, trombones, saxophones, drums and other
instruments. In addition we will distribute, one hundred recorders for
younger children and boxes of reeds, strings, bows, mouthpieces, pads
for reed instruments, valve oil, and a variety of other parts to repair
old or broken instruments.
"We want to thank everyone who has helped," says Horns to Havana's
co-founder, Susan Sillins, "All of us are now looking forward to meeting
some very special, young people.
"These students are hungry for music," comments Educational Director,
Victor Goines, "That's what this trip is about." Carlos Henriquez adds,
"All of us intend to come out of Cuba fulfilled and joyful after doing
something to help these talented kids."