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FSU Jazz Lights up Costa Rica

In May 2024 students and faculty from the FSU College of Music toured Costa Rica, sponsored in part by the U.S. Embassy and the Centro Cultural Costarricense-Norteamericano. This Promising Young Artists program included concerts at the Eugene O’Neill Theater and El Sótano Jazz Club in the capital of San José and in Monteverde and Puntarenas on the Pacific Coast. In addition to performances and educational masterclasses at multiple local schools, participants enjoyed the cloud rainforest, beaches, local markets, great food, and the natural beauty of this Central American nation.

The ten jazz majors who toured on behalf of the College included pianists Sammy Hanson and Asher Pereira, bassists Dane Harter and Kaleb Thompkins, drummers Nygel Anderson and Rudi Neubrander, saxophonists Kyle Bramson and Tyler Pauletti, trombonist Steven Blake, and trumpeter Wayne Pearcy, who are members of the Honors Jazz Combo at FSU. The group was selected to participate in the tour through a highly competitive entrepreneurial proposal process within the College. David Detweiler, Associate Professor of Jazz Saxophone, coached the students and joined the group on their tour.

“This program offers a transformational international experience for students and faculty through shared musicianship and cultural experiences,” said Greg Jones, Associate Dean for Community Engagement, who launched the Costa Rica program in 2023 with support from the U.S. Embassy and the Les and Ruth Akers Fund for Entrepreneurial Activity in Music. 

“We are very thankful for the support of the Akers as we prepare talented musicians for 21st century careers,” adds Jones. “These innovative collaborations are inspiring great creativity in our students, with impressive results and experiential learning to last a lifetime.”

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