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“The idea behind Anima Mundi was conceived during the darkest days of the pandemic in Italy, as a cause for hope, a reason to celebrate, with artists coming together for the first time to perform Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” at our headquarters in Rome at the Summer Solstice,” said Fendi artistic director for accessories and menswear, Silvia Venturini Fendi.
Since its inception in Rome, the series has held classical music performances in Shanghai, Tokyo, and Seoul. Today, it debuts its fifth installation with a special Jazz performance in New York. Filmed last month at the world-renowned Appel Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center, the presentation features six musical talents from The Juilliard School: saxophonist Colin Waters, trumpeter Summer Camargo, drummer TJ Reddick, bassist Jayla Chee, pianist Tyler Henderson, and trombonist Jasim Perales.
“It is now six months later that students from Juilliard are playing together for the first time in New York, marking the beginning of a New Year that also brings with it cause for hope for our global community,” added Fendi.
The performing students are part of the school’s reputable Juilliard Jazz program—led by Wynton Marsalis, a Juilliard alumnus and Pulitzer and GRAMMY® award winning trumpeter and composer—which combines education and professional performance for opportunities that integrate students into new jazz environments. This year, it celebrates its 20th anniversary through a special partnership with Fendi.
“Our Juilliard students are very excited to be included in this unique, global artistic statement. FENDI has created a provocative suite of episodes showcasing great music, set against iconic architecture, featuring engaging musicians decked out in the elegant clothes and accessories of FENDI,” said Marsalis. “It is fitting that Jazz, New York, and Juilliard close out this suite. Jazz symbolizes individual freedom, collective creativity and personal resilience–fundamental attributes needed to effectively navigate an increasingly complex world. New York is the quintessential modern metropolis, a cauldron of cutting-edge connectivity. And Juilliard brings youthful virtue, vigor and virtuosity to the timeless challenges of humanity.”
Now on Fendi’s website, viewers around the world can enjoy solos by students that were filmed in various locations of the center—like Paul Hall, Glorya Kaufman Dance Studio, and the Peter Jay Sharp Theater, which are typically filled with audience—and view spectacular views of Central Park in the background.
This installation of “Anima Mundi” is geared to highlight young jazz musicians as an ode to the American traditions, communities, and connections it has perpetuated around the world. The composition and performance aims to honor resilience, renewal, and renaissance.
To create the video, the musicians started in-person rehearsal on campus in November. Abiding rigorous safety protocols surrounding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, they practiced an original score composed and arranged by student Aaron Matson entitled “Rollerblading in Harlem,” which was commissioned by Fendi for this series.
The final video shoot followed Juilliard’s strict social distancing protocols and featured specially designed PPE and face masks for each student. For the occasion, each student is dressed in self-selected attire and accessories from the house’s Men’s and Women’s Fall/Winter 2020-2021 collections.
“The current pandemic has given us an unpredictable set of ever-changing variables. Perfect for Jazz! The art of mastering the moment with insight, execution, and feeling,” added Marsalis. “We are grateful to Fendi for commissioning a new work by student Aaron Matson and for supporting our student performing ensemble in a project that so optimistically addresses this very moment. Director Nick Morgan Lieberman has done fantastic work which clearly reveals that Jazz, Juilliard, New York and Fendi play quite well together. We are proud to participate.”
In addition to commissioning the performance, Fendi has established a donation program for the performing arts school, raising funds for student scholarships that will enable a new generation of artists in music, dance, and drama.
“Beyond our admiration for the dedication of the students to have reached the level of achievement having been accepted to the esteemed Juilliard School in their respective disciplines, our shared obsession with craft and the importance that arts play in giving back to society is the reason we at FENDI chose to make a meaningful donation to Juilliard,” said Fendi chairman and CEO, Serge Brunschwig.