Christine Metz Howard
International Affairs

Dylan Bassett receives Fulbright Specialist Award to Brazil

Fri, 05/05/2023

LAWRENCE — Dylan Bassett, lecturer of percussion at the University of Kansas School of Music, has received a Fulbright Specialist Award to travel to Brazil, where he will compose works, perform, direct a musical group and teach.

Dylan BassettThis summer Bassett will take part in the internationally recognized Festival de Percussão 2 de Julho hosted by the Federal University of Bahia in Salvador, Brazil. Salvador is in the state of Bahia, which is widely celebrated for its global influence in the world of percussion.

As part of the six-week residency, Bassett will compose percussion works for the festival, perform with the musical groups Tambores do Mundo; the Conceção, Bassett, & Pam Trio de Percussão; and the Sacramento/Bassett Duo, and direct Grupo de Percussão da UFBA, which performs Brazilian, U.S. and Brazilian-U.S. fusion compositions. While at the university, Bassett will also teach master classes on the U.S. drum set, drumline and other percussion styles as well as applied lessons.

“I am excited to facilitate connections that transcend geopolitical boundaries,” Bassett said. “Music has the power to help people find commonalities and connect in authentic ways. In this world of divisiveness, we need genuine peaceful connections more than ever.”

Bassett is one of more than 400 U.S. citizens selected each year to share their expertise with host institutions abroad through the Fulbright Specialist Program. Recipients are selected based on academic and professional achievement, demonstrated leadership in their field and their potential to foster long-term cooperation between institutions in the U.S. and abroad. Established in 2001, the Fulbright Specialist Program enables U.S. academics and professionals with significant expertise to complete short-term, project-based exchanges designed by institutions around the world.

Before he received the Fulbright Specialist award, Bassett was named to the Fulbright Specialist roster for a three-year tenure.

“I am thrilled that Dylan was selected for the Fulbright Specialist Program,” said Colin Roust, associate dean for academic affairs at the KU School of Music. “Dylan already contributes to the school’s internationalization efforts through his popular Drumming Cultures of the World course, by leading occasional study abroad courses to Brazil and by directing the award-winning KU West African Drum Ensemble. His Fulbright-funded work in Brazil will further enrich the international engagement initiatives of the School of Music.”

Bassett is a core faculty member in the Center for Caribbean & Latin American Studies, and his 20 years of teaching experience includes work with the Federal University of Bahia, University of Northern Colorado, Missouri Fine Arts Academy, Drury University, Webster University, Missouri State University, Washburn University, Americana Music Academy and lessons through his private percussion studio.

He has traveled in the U.S., Brazil, Cuba, Ghana, Guinea and Senegal recording and performing with Giba Conceição, Mario Pam, Louie Bellson, Karrin Allyson, Sekou "Balandougou" Keïta, Souleymane Faye, Babara Bangoura, Balandougou Kan, Bolokada Conde, Luisito y Son Cuba, Choro au Jazz, Sapes Highlife Band, Quixotic Performance Fusion, Sunu, Son Venezuela, Balacobaco do Brasil and many others.

In 2022, Bassett received a grant from the Kansas African Studies Center to travel to Morowaya, Guinea, to collaborate with internationally acclaimed djembe artist Bolokada Conde on a forthcoming book on traditional drumming from the Sankaran region of Guinea.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to build lasting connections between the people of the U.S. and the people of other countries. Since its establishment in 1946, the Fulbright Program has given more than 400,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists and scientists the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

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