Brazilian scholars of the Kurt Maas Jazz Scholarship come to Munich

A short interview with André Kusmitsch and Feldeman de Oliveira Lacerda

28 June ’23

This year, the Kurt Maas Jazz Scholarship was awarded for the first time. It was made possible by the support of donor Camilo Dornier, who has been promoting jazz education in Munich for many years. The scholarship promotes worldwide networking by inviting international young talents to the Jazz Institute in Munich. This year, the sponsorship went to the Brazilian musicians André Kusmitsch (piano) and Feldeman de Oliveira Lacerda (trombone).

Both came to Munich in June 2023 and will perform, among other things, at the prize-winners’ concert of the Kurt Maas Jazz Award on 12 July 2023 at the Isarphilharmonie. In this interview, they share their thoughts on how they arrived and what they particularly look forward to.





Foto der beiden Kurt Maas Jazz Scholars 2023
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What does the Kurt Maas Jazz Scholarship 2023 mean to you?

André Kusmitsch: The scholarship is a huge opportunity for me to continue playing, practising and working on myself. That wouldn’t happen without the scholarship, it means a lot to me.

Feldeman de Oliveira Lacerda: It is also very important for me because it allows me to get to know many new things, for example, a new culture, a new language and, above all, a lot of new input for my music. We have been very warmly welcomed and received at the university. There is so much to learn and experience about jazz music and it’s great to be able to exchange ideas about Brazilian music with so many people.

What are you looking forward to most with regard to the concert on 12 July?

AK: I just hope we will have a lot of fun and that we will bring a lot of the joy, the beauty and all the swing of Brazilian music to Munich. We want the people in the audience to get a little taste of the wonderful universe that is Brazil.

FO: Arriving in a new, distant country is not easy. But this concert already leaves me excited. Ivan Lins is a Brazilian icon, a great musician and composer – I am an absolute fan! For the first time I will have the chance to play his music with a big band and I am really looking forward to it.

 How important is this exchange for you personally?

AK: This exchange is changing my life! To give you an impression: Before this exchange, I have never flown on a plane or crossed the borders of Brazil. This experience is absolutely remarkable for me. Everything I experience and learn here helps me grow – not only as a musician but also as a person. I can really only thank all the people who make this scholarship possible and hope that many more people will get this great opportunity.

FO: As I said above, I find the exchange in a foreign country, everything new, very important, also to grow as a person. You feel a bit like a baby because you are so dependent most of the time. But the university supports us so well and makes it very easy for us to arrive. I learn a lot about music, cultures and much more, so all these experiences will definitely change my life.

Details on 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 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 is recording his first album.
















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