Students and administrators from the Universidad de las Artes (ISA) in Havana, Cuba, visited the Bienen School of Music on Wednesday, November 11, for a concert and panel discussion in Mary B. Galvin Recital Hall.

Toni-Marie Montgomery, dean of the Bienen School, welcome guests to the event, which featured alternating performances by ISA and Bienen students.

Jessica Maylin Durive Castellanos and Hamser Woo Sanchez from ISA began the concert with a trombone duet. Brannon Cho, a junior in the Bienen School, performed a cello solo.

Conducted by Orbert Davis (MM97), a mixed ensemble of ISA students and musicians from the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic performed next. Davis, an alumnus of Northwestern’s School of Music, is artistic director of Chicago Jazz Philharmonic and has visited Cuba twice to work with ISA students.

The concert ended with a performance by a Bienen jazz quintet comprising Quentin Coaxum on trumpet, Zakkary Garner on alto saxophone, Julius Tucker on piano, Alex Warshawsky on bass, and Jared Decker on drums.

After the concert portion of the event, Davis moderated a panel discussion featuring Henry Godinez, professor of theatre in Northwestern’s School of Communication; Ernesto Lima Parets, ISA choir conductor; Mayrelys Danay Smith Rojas, an ISA cello student; and Quentin Coaxum, a master's jazz student in the Bienen School. Diana Pascual Garcia provided English-Spanish translations throughout the conversation.

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  • Toni-Marie Montgomery