By Sergio Pamies
Former UNT graduate student Kangning Sun serves as musical director for the Golden Jazz Contemporary Music Institute (CMI) in Zhuhai, China. The CMI is a private music school with an emphasis in jazz that offers a degree in jazz studies designed by Kangning. The CMI is a project developed by Golden Jazz, a company contributes to the cultural scene of the city offering jazz not only to the CMI students, but organizing weekly free live performances and special concerts featuring international artists.
Former and current graduate students from the UNT jazz studies department have been teaching workshops in jazz composition, improvisation, and small group playing at the CMI during 2015, and some of them have been appointed as Visiting Professors. These students include pianist Marcos Merino, bassist Young Heo, drummer Rasmus Blixt, pianist Sergio Pamies, saxophonist Drew Zaremba, and vocalist Jimin Lee. They have presented lectures as well in certain topics in jazz for the general audience, not just musicians, and they have performed in local theaters in Zhuhai. They were greatly surprised by the interest that the CMI students showed towards jazz and their capacity to work on the discussed materials.