USF Jazztet and Trombone Band Perform at 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France
Thursday, August 29, 2019
This summer, USF music students took a trip to France where they performed at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup for the England vs Norway soccer game.
The students took in the rich musical and artistic culture of France while gaining experience on an international stage.
For jazz studies senior Rod Alnord, it was his first time in France. The study abroad experience gave him the chance to be a part of a new culture of music.
“There’s musicians everywhere,” said Alnord. “The music scene over there is insane.”
Representing USF in France were the USF Jazztet, USF’s premier graduate jazz ensemble, and the USF Trombone Band 1. USF director of jazz studies Jack Wilkins and USF professor of trombone Tom Brantley rounded out the group.
At the England vs. Norway game, the musicians performed for fans outside the stadium. Afterward, they got the chance to see the game for themselves.
Before the World Cup performance in Le Havre, the group began their trip in Paris where they rehearsed with local musicians at the Paris College of Music. When not practicing their craft, they explored iconic destinations in and around the city: the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and the Palace of Versailles.
On June 21, the group experienced Fête de la Musique, a day of music filled with live music all over the streets and businesses of the city.
Alnord and his colleagues also had the chance to hear world-renowned jazz guitarist Rez Abbasi perform with his band, which included a harpist, tabla player, and drummer. The performance marked Abbasi’s first performance with the band.
They played their set twice in the small Parisian venue. Alnord heard the music transform as the night went on.
“They played their first set, and by the second set, you could tell that they were more comfortable playing with each other, so the music was just more fluid, it was just insane,” said Alnord. “It was so good, it was a great time.”
Later, the students traveled to Vienne, France, a town outside the city of Lyon, where they performed at the Jazz a Vienne music festival.
The Jazztet performed selections from their repertoire, including jazz standards arranged by pianist Andy LaVerne, and charts by drummer Art Blakely and Miles Davis. The trombone band played original charts by USF junior trombonist Filip Sokolowski, an original by USF graduate pianist Adolfo Mendonça, and other trombone repertoire.
The students also had the chance to listen to other talented musicians at the festival, such as vocal legend Bobby McFerrin and jazz vocalist Jose James. Alnord’s favorite from the festival was the Leon Phal Quintet, an upcoming jazz ensemble that earned the distinction of laureate for the Jazz a Vienne springboard program.
For Alnord, visiting France provided him with new insights into the possibilities of living and working abroad as a jazz musician. With a rich music scene in Paris and a culture that thoroughly embraces jazz music, working abroad in France, or elsewhere, is a real possibility for him.
“It was a really good experience,” said Alnord. “Even if you’re confident in the United States … there are options elsewhere. That’s what I thought about.”
Upon from USF with his bachelor’s degree in 2019, Alnord plans to pursue a master’s in marketing degree at USF. Ultimately, he wants to live or tour abroad while working as a full-time jazz musician.
Explore more on jazz studies at USF.
Banner photo (top): USF music students and faculty at Notre Dame cathedral in Paris. Pictured from left to right: Tom Brantley, James Wall, Adolfo Mendonça, Filip Sokolowski, Kamyl Alicea, Brandon Miller, Cathy Lopez, Jordan Harris, Jon Cestero, Andrew Kennedy, Rod Alnord, Jack Wilkins