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Victor Haskins is a multi-instrumentalist, multidisciplinary artist, international performer, composer, improviser, bandleader, and educator. Haskins creates transformative, sound-based works which channel the power of human connection, immediacy, and inventiveness to engage with time and space.
As a performer, Victor has been featured at the Henrico, Richmond, Elkhart, and Apex Jazz Festivals, the Kennedy Center REACH Opening Festival, the Richmond 2nd Street and East End Festivals, the Festival of New Trumpet Music (NYC), and the Christopher Newport University Trumpet Festival. He has performed in venues such as the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Millennium Stage (Washington, D.C.), the W.E. Singleton Center for the Performing Arts (Richmond, VA), the VCU Institute for Contemporary Art (Richmond, VA), the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA), Ewell Hall (Williamsburg, VA), the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (Baltimore, MD), the Jazz Gallery (NYC), iBeam (NYC), Résonance Café (Montreal, CA), Diese Onze (Montreal, CA), Snug Harbor (New Orleans, LA), the University of KwaZulu-Natal (Durban, South Africa), and Teatro SESI Rio Vermelho (Salvador, Bahia, BR), amongst others. In addition, some of Victor's activities are supported by grants from CultureWorks RVA, the Virginia Commission for the Arts, and the National Endowment of the Arts.
As a recording artist, Victor Haskins Haskins released his first album of his original music, The Truth, in 2013 using all acoustic instruments. His second album of original compositions, entitled Showing Up, was released in February of 2019. Showing Up features his main working ensemble, Victor Haskins & SKEIN, and reflects his developments and experiments with a group sound that combines electronic sound design and live audio processing with intricate interplay. Haskins is presently in the process of recording over 25 of his original works as a part of two separate, concurrent projects for the SKEIN. One project is a collection of compositions which are based on his interpretations of rhythms from the Afro-Brazilian religion Candomblé, which he learned via studying atabaque drumming while visiting Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. The other project draws on internal and interpersonal work and research Haskins has completed in recent years (a continuation of the philosophical concept behind Showing Up); this album will be called Ikigai, which is a Japanese concept referring to something that gives a person a sense of purpose, a reason for living. Haskins was awarded a grant from the CultureWorks Richmond Grant Program for the 2021-22 season to produce a live album with SKEIN.
Some highlights from Mr. Haskins’ performance art career thus far include winning a grant from the CultureWorks Richmond Grant Program for the 2019-2020 season, which led to the creation and performance of multidisciplinary work “Be/Flow” by his ImproviStory unit in August of 2020. Haskins was selected to present an original, multidisciplinary work for 1708 Gallery’s large-scale, light-based art installation (called InLight) for both the 2019 and 2020 events. For InLight 2019, Haskins presented “Chimborazo, in Every Sense of the Name (1865-1866)”, which is an exploration of the true story of Chimborazo as a refugee camp for newly-freed African-Americans in 1865 in Richmond, VA, and the conditions which precipitated the camp’s demise in 1866. Haskins was also commissioned by the Anne Arundel County Public Schools (AACPS) Performing & Visual Arts Magnet Program to create an original, multidisciplinary work for their teacher professional-development seminar in August of 2019. His creation, entitled "The American Way", examines lynching of African-Americans in post-Civil War America in relation to killings of African-Americans at the hands of police in the modern era. Haskins presented an updated version of this presentation called “The American Way (Hindsight is 2020)” and performed it at InLight 2020.
As an educator, Victor directs the In-School Jazz Ensembles for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., and teaches Jazz Trumpet, Improvisation, and the Jazz Ensemble at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, VA. Previously, he served on the faculty of the inaugural Izmir International Jazz Camp in Izmir, Turkey. Haskins has given educational presentations at institutions such as the Jazz Education Network Conference, the University of Georgia, Virginia Commonwealth University, the Royal Academy of Music (England), Conservatoir Nadia et Lili Boulanger (France), the University of Richmond, TEDxVCU, and TEDxLizardCreek.
Victor holds a Jazz Studies/Performance degree from Virginia Commonwealth University where he completed the 4-year music program in only 3 years (the first and only person to ever accomplish this feat). Haskins was a member of the 2013 class of Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead Residency at the Kennedy Center. Additionally, Victor placed 2nd in the National Trumpet Competition Jazz Division in 2012 and placed 3rd in the International Trumpet Competition Jazz Competition.
Victor Haskins is proud to be sponsored by Eclipse Trumpets, and Denis Wick mouthpieces.