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SPECIAL PROJECTS: Music and Cultural Exchange

One of the main goals of the Colombo Americano is to share the American culture and language and offer a space for cultural exchange between Colombia and the United States.  For this reason, since 2006 the Colombo Americano has been organizing a series of musical presentations throughout the year, showcasing promising U.S. university musicians.   Some of our most prominent projects are: the University Jazz Festival, Acapella, Symphonic Gospel, Big Bands, and most recently Musical Theatre. Past participants of these presentations include: The Julliard School, Florida International University, University of Cincinnati, Morgan State University, University of New Orleans, Berklee School of Music, Yale University, Emory University, University of Massachusetts- Amherst, Purdue University, Tennessee State University, University of North Texas, William Paterson University, Millikin University, University of Denver, Vanderbilt University, University of Vermont, Belmont University, Central State University, and Eastern Kentucky University.


Ongoing Yearly Programs

Jazz Camp

Since 2008, the Colombo has developed this music education program for youth in Medellin.  The program consists in the visit of jazz artists from U.S. universities that specialize in music focusing on jazz.  These musicians spend a week in Medellin working with young musicians and their teachers, sharing improvisation techniques unique to jazz.

The purpose of this program is to engage youth from the United States and from Colombia in a cultural exchange through the universal language of jazz.   Cultural awareness is promoted through educational and performance activities, as well as one-on-one interaction between participants.

Along with the Jazz Camp activities, the Colombo Americano also plans and develops the University Jazz Festival as a way to showcase the visiting jazz groups and local talent, which allows us to show how we continue to grow and improve in terms of jazz as a city.    In this sense, we work closely with U.S. and local universities so that this program can truly be a platform for music development at a university level and an opportunity for internationalization.

This project brings together youth from the Medellin Network of Public Music Schools, teachers, and students from all local universities that offer music and jazz as a musical style.

The University Jazz season is an excellent opportunity for students to learn more about jazz and start to develop stylistic skills that make up this unique style of music.   Participants have the opportunity to study the historical perspective, techniques, styles, repertoires and theoretical language of jazz improvisation with experienced instructors in the field.   During the workshops, students have a chance to perform together and improvise different styles, so that at the end of the week the group of students and instructors can put together a jam session for the community, showcasing what they have covered.

This program is done in collaboration with the Medellin Network of Public Music Schools, Fundacion Universitaria Bellas Artes, Univerisdad de Antioquia, Universidad EAFIT, the City Government of Medellin, the EPM Foundation, Medellin Cultural & Teatro Metropolitano.


A Capella

A cappella music is specifically group or solo singing without instrumental accompaniment, or it is intended to be performed in this way. It contrasts with cantata, which is usually accompanied singing. The term «a cappella» comes from the Italian term meaning “in the chapel”, given that in the Middle Ages instruments were not allowed inside chapels or Christian churches.  This style has evolved and is now used to interpret a myriad of music styles.   Yale University is one of the most prominent universities in this music style housing over 20 different student led A capella groups.   Since 2011, during the month of May, the Colombo Americano brings a different A capella group from Yale University to share this unique way of performing music with the city of Medellin.



Since 2010, the Colombo Americano in conjunction with the Network of Public Libraries and IBM Colombia have reached out to low income populations through ​​EnglishNet, a technology-for-education project using applications and information found on the internet to help students learn English independently.  To date, the project has trained more than 15,000 librarians, English teachers, public school students, library visitors, and volunteers to improve English teaching and learning in public libraries and schools.


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