Welcome to virginiajazz.org, the digital home of UVA Jazz.

The UVA Jazz Program, directed by John D’earth, has completed a year long recording project over the fall and spring semesters of 2020/2021. The project is called Infernal Resilience, referencing the resiliency mustered to meet the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the infernal resilience of adversity itself whether it comes in the form of disease and natural catastrophe, or in the man-made forms brought to us by ignorance, prejudice, and greed.

Charlottesville and UVa have been ground zero for a confrontation with, and a conversation about, these kinds of adversity, just as jazz music has stood for emotional, intellectual, and historical authenticity. Jazz is honest music. For many of us, the pandemic, the lockdowns, and the social realities revealed throughout have required, and engendered, a new honesty. The many recordings contained within this project bear witness to the last year’s long “moment,” and celebrate the joy of making music and playing jazz, together.

Infernal Resilience is a big tent that houses the UVa Jazz Ensemble, the four UVA Jazz Chamber Groups, the UVA Jazz Singers, two Distinguished Major Projects and collaborators from the Dance Program, Visual Arts, and Media Studies. Despite the changes and challenges brought on by the global pandemic we vowed to continue creating and bringing art into this world. We could not safely rehearse and perform together during this past academic year, but we did create what has fueled the evolution of jazz from the beginning and inspired most of us to make music in the first place: recorded statements, “albums.”

The Jazz Ensemble saw the global and local crisis as an opportunity to create an inter-disciplinary project that cast a wide net for student and faculty involvement. Jazz students, classical students, faculty musicians, community musicians, orchestra principals, and instruments not normally associated with big band jazz, such as strings, french horn, and flutes, have been recruited to participate.

We could not have completed this work without the staunch support of our friend and ally, Mark Graham, owner of The Sound recording studio. There, we were able to isolate wind players and singers, recording three at a time in a multi-track format. Mark’s generosity and talent as an engineer and producer are evident everywhere on these recordings.

The UVa Jazz Program and the Department of Music are eternally grateful for a generous gift from Jim and Nancy Dunton, without which these recordings could not have happened.

This website houses finished recordings of seven groups, documentary works-in-progress, and co-creative work done by visual and movement artists. Go through our pages, meet the musicians and collaborators who have added so much to this presentation, and find the music on the Infernal Resilience page.

Stay tuned for live jazz concerts from UVa as we approach the possibility of a return to normalcy in the fall.