Archives: ben heemstra

Jazz in the East

For a week in November, some of Richmond’s finest jazz musicians performed at a jazz festival in Turkey, where VCU alumnus Emre Kartari founded the country’s first jazz educational institution. For Kartari and musicians like Doug Richards, Skip Gailes, and Howard Curtis, it was a reunion of sorts. For VCU Jazz students Ben Heemstra, Andrew Randazzo, and Lucas Fritz, it was the trip of a lifetime.

Students on stage

The monthly VCU Jazz @ The Camel series is back for round two after a successful first year. Tonight, check out two student bands with much to offer:

At 8pm: “Ben Heemstra, a jazz trumpet major from South Dakota, will be leading a group consisting of Christ Bates (tbn), Abinnet Berhanu (drums), David Tennenholtz (piano), and Andrew Randazzo (bass) playing some original compositions and tunes from the late 60’s Herbie Hancok era.”

At 9:30pm: “Abinnet Berhanu is a sophomore drummer who will be leading a trio consisting of Ben White (piano) and Evan Sarver (bass). He’ll be doing some original tunes and may even have some very special guests up on stage.”

Those guests, turns out, are trumpeter John D’Earth and tenor saxophonist JC Kuhl. As always, VCU Jazz @ The Camel is free of charge.

Richmond Jazz Collective: Anticipated premiere

Two months later, it’s happening: the premiere of the big band that was to rival any other like it in Richmond. This band is actually way more than two months in the making, though.

The Camel: VCU Jazz’s new home away from home

Lucas Fritz is stirring up activity off campus with the VCU Jazz at The Camel series, which starts tomorrow. Let’s say if Making Things Happen 101 were a class, Lucas would get an A.