André Kusmitsch and Feldeman de Oliveira Lacerda first recipients of Kurt Maas Jazz Scholarship

25 April ’23

To celebrate the 10th edition of the Kurt Maas Jazz Award, the University of Music and Theatre Munich, supported by the entrepreneur and jazz sponsor Camilo Dornier, is awarding the Kurt Maas Jazz Scholarship for the first time. The scholarship promotes the worldwide networking of the Jazz Institute Munich by inviting international young talents to Munich. This year, it is awarded to the Brazilian musicians André Kusmitsch (piano) and Feldeman de Oliveira Lacerda (trombone).

André Kusmitsch and Feldeman de Oliveira Lacerda will be invited to Munich as guest students from 17 June to 17 July 2023. During their visit they will work with the students of the Jazz Institute in various workshops and will perform at the prize-winners’ concert of the Kurt Maas Jazz Award 2023 on 12 July at the Isarphilharmonie in the Gasteig HP8.

For the first granting of the scholarship this year, the Jazz Institute has selected two institutions in São Paulo that stand for innovative jazz education in Brazil: the Faculdade de Música Souza Lima University and the EMESP Tom Jobim Music School. The Faculdade de Música Souza Lima University in São Paulo, which works closely with the Berklee College of Music, has a top-class jazz and samba jazz education. The EMESP Tom Jobim Music School in São Paulo is a socio-cultural project that intensively promotes musical talent from the most diverse neighbourhoods of the city. Internal competitions were held at both institutions to award the scholarship.

Foto der beiden Kurt Maas Jazz Award Scholars
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About the scholarship holders

21-year-old André Kusmitsch started playing the piano at the age of seven and discovered his interest in Brazilian music and jazz early on. In 2016, he began music lessons at the state music school EMESP Tom Jobim (Escola de Música do Estado de São Paulo Tom Jobim), where he was taught by Guilherme Ribeiro and Sizao Machado, among others. In 2019, he began his Bachelor’s studies at the Faculdade de Música Souza Lima in cooperation with Berklee College of Music in Boston. He plays in the big band Souza Lima and is also the pianist and keyboardist of Sexteto Aurum, an ensemble sponsored by EMESP’s Career Development Center.

The 24-year-old Feldeman de Oliveira Lacerda first received music lessons at the age of eight and has been playing the trombone since the age of 11. He finally began studying trombone at the Conservatório Musical Villa Lobos in São Paulo, took part in a study exchange with the Juilliard School in New York and then completed his studies at the EMESP Tom Jobim State Music School and the Faculdade Santa Marcelina University (FASM). During his studies he had the opportunity to perform with many renowned bands of the Brazilian music scene. He is currently pursuing a postgraduate degree in Music Education at the Faculdade de Música Souza Lima and recording his first album.

Kurt Maas Jazz Award (KMJA)

The Kurt Maas Jazz Award (KMJA) was awarded for the first time in 2013 and has since been offered every two years for students of the Jazz Institute Munich. The basis of the competition is the close cooperation with the renowned Berklee College of Music in Boston, USA: the first prize of the competition is participation in a summer school in Boston.

The 2023 prize winners are Elias Prinz (guitar, 1st prize), Minchan Kim (drums, 2nd prize) and Tom Förster (saxophone, 3rd prize). In recent years, artists such as Shuteen Erdenebaatar (piano), Alma Naidu (vocals), Svetlana Marinchenko (piano), Moritz Stahl (saxophone), Rebecca Trescher (clarinet), Leopold Betzl (piano), Matthias Lindermayr (trumpet) and many others have been awarded one of the three KMJA prizes.