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Presenter Testimonials

Here’s what presenters say about Victor Haskins & SKEIN:


 "As a presenter, we look to bring artists into our community that will engage our audience on all levels. Victor and his ensemble are not merely EXCELLENT  musicians; they are lovely human beings who are professional, friendly, and enjoyable. We expected an outstanding performance, but the beautiful human connection was a bonus."

-Tammy Scruggs-Duncan, Executive Director, Alleghany Highlands Arts Council, Alleghany County, VA


“Victor Haskins & SKEIN provided a truly immersive listening experience for our patrons and had them talking for weeks. Working with Victor, Randall, and Tony was seamless, from the behind the scenes planning to performance, everything was top notch. We look forward to having them again in our venue.”


-Chelsea Buyalos, Executive Director, Perkinson Center for the Arts & Education, Chester, VA

"We've been fortunate to have Victor Haskins bring his talent and professionalism to our festival stage twice, and each visit has left the staff of Lake Anna Jazz in awe of his creativity, stage presence, and personality. He is not only a great communicator of musical ideas, but he also possesses much appreciated business communication skills that make it a pleasure to plan, brainstorm, and work with him. Our audience and staff had nothing but raves for his festival appearances, and I look forward to collaborating on additional projects in the near future."


-Robert McBride, President, Lake Anna Jazz, Mineral, VA


“For over an hour, Victor Haskins played cornett and electronic wind instrument, Randall Pharr played bass, and Tony Martucci played drums while the audience listened to original compositions. Shoulders swayed, heads bobbed, and toes tapped to the lively music. Haskins introduced each piece by talking about how it came to be or meaning of the title. This added context allowed listeners to contemplate the music on a deeper level than simple enjoyment.”

-Jill Hames, Director, James L. Hamner Library, Amelia, VA

Here’s what presenters say about ImproviStory:

"We had the pleasure of hosting master improviser and multi-instrumentalist Victor Haskins at Sweet Briar College February 8-9, 2023.


Before, during, and after his visit, Victor was a joy to work with as an artist and a professional. He engaged with our students with very different levels of experience and inspired each one to participate freely by providing clear instruction and positive encouragement. He demonstrated his novel approach to live sound design and answered our students’ questions in a thorough and inspiring way.


Victor’s concert was electrifying as he looped together acoustic and digital sounds to create an immersive and dynamic sound experience for the audience. He welcomed questions and reflections from audience members, creating space for dialogue which allowed the public to better understand and appreciate his artistry.


After Victor’s visit, students commented that they valued the chance to interact with an artist who spoke so clearly and passionately about both his methods as well as his artistic vision.


We look forward to hosting Victor Haskins at Sweet Briar again in the future!"

-Anne Elise Thomas, Assistant Professor of Music, Sweet Briar College, Co-chair, Society for Arab Music Research (SAMR)


“Victor’s performance was unlike any other that our guests had experienced. His ability to convey a story through layering sounds and building a song right in front of our eyes was incredible to both watch and hear. A truly special experience!”


-Heather Ernst, Deputy Director, Branch Museum of Architecture & Design 

“Haskins has created one of the most compelling, unique, and provocative musical experiences available to date with the ImproviStory. Haskins creates lush and creative soundscapes that can’t help but to captivate the audience. Haskins has his own collection of these ImproviStories, and also, is able to tailor the performance for a specific audience. Not only that, his ability to articulate his creative process, explain the various instruments and music technology that he’s using is truly impressive. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how much of a delight he is to work with. He’s very responsive, adaptable and, a great communicator on top of being one of the most talented musicians this generation has seen.”


-Morgan Davis, Reference Librarian – Music Division, Library of Congress

"Victor's multimedia work, "The American Way", was a raw glimpse into the soul of a nation that has struggled with racial inequality.  His multi-dimensional musical and artistic talents were on full display throughout the performance and, partnered with Monte Meoleaeke Jones' dance, offered a poignant perspective on the tribulations of the African American in our country."

David Kauffman, Senior Manager, Performing & Visual Arts Magnet Program, Anne Arundel County Public Schools

Here’s what teachers say about Victor’s “Speaking of Jazz” Educational Presentation:


“Mr. Haskins and his fellow musicians brought jazz alive for my students through quality performance and stimulating questions. I have never seen my students so attentive for an entire hour!"

Graciela Briceno, Music Teacher, Garrison Elementary School, Washington, D.C.

“They gave insightful discussions, encouraged audience participation and had fun with their topics and pieces that kept the students’ interests while still maintaining the high standard of performance expectations and learning atmosphere.

“…I highly recommend administrators, teachers and schools to put forth the effort in having these musicians come to them and share some of the musical knowledge that they are willing to give."

Michael Utell, Band Director, Woodburn School for the Fine and Communicative Arts, Falls Church, VA

Press Quotes

Press quotes about Victor's album The Truth:


“The Truth…could not have a more apt title. This is music: thoughtful, passionate, skillful, contemplative, life itself is contained within the set. Isn’t that what we would hope our music to be? The reflection of our lives?...In listening to The Truth…, I often found myself transported to a place where the only consideration at the time was the music and its emotive effect on my psyche.”


-Grown Folks Music Blog (Ivan Orr)


“…Haskins possesses marvelous chops, great technical ability, savvy horn-sense and a flowing ease of execution that allows him to explore exciting, rhythmically unique improvised lines that hint of Woody Shaw. His trumpet sound is full, resonant and highly attractive across the range of horn…Haskins' improvised lines are filled with "flow-juice" and they spark rhythmic nuggets which he quickly and effectively develops.”


- All About Jazz (Nicholas F. Mondello)


When listening to most musicians, I hear the same licks and worn out patterns but in Mr. Haskins case, he seems to be free to reach down into his deepest areas to bring out new and refreshing ideas long overdue on our musical scene. Mr. Haskins seems to be fused mentally, as well as physically, with his instrument to produce pure musical creativity.


- The Trumpet Blog (Bruce Chidester)


Press quotes about Victor's album Showing Up:


“Since he burst onto the scene, Victor Haskins has developed a robust reputation as a modern-day jazz storyteller. His utterly sincere approach to his art is in the highest jazz tradition of exploration and innovation. With Showing Up, Haskins has taken his message to yet another higher level. 

The album, Haskins' second, presents his "Skein"—comprised of himself acoustically and electro-enhanced, a bassist and percussionist—delivering ten highly intelligent, textured tracks. Each presents its own eclectic musical poetry. Haskins is genie-like here, granting listeners stimulating mind-colors and both emotional range and depth via his original compositions. This is music for introspection and involvement.”


- All About Jazz (Nicholas F. Mondello)

“While wordless, Haskins' songs are like short stories, and in this case the narrative is clear, as the music moves from gentle awareness to full engagement…Haskins has a strong individual voice, but it is too unpredictable to have set into a brandable “style.”

Each of the songs has its own narrative logic and they are sequenced in a way that contrasts their varying moods and tempos. (Not that some of the songs are not themselves constructed of contrasting sections.) The reflective march tempos of “Reliving the Past” are followed by the acceleration/decelerations of “Swift” and then the raucous Herbie Hancock Headhunters strut of “Five in the Pocket.”

There are no passengers in a trio recording. With so few players, every player’s part must work as foreground. While Haskins has the flashiest role, the success of the record depends equally on the adept, subtle, and unpredictable drumming of Tony Martucci. Randall Pharr’s basslines are so forward in the mix as be the second melodic lead."

-Style Weekly (Peter McElhinney)

Press quotes about Victor's album Ikigai:

Haskins possesses a gorgeous, velvet tone plus the creative smarts and playing technique to pull this kind of extended format off. His improvisations are brilliant in that they are as elegantly simple as they are uniquely complex. His choice of instruments -the cornet -and its more mellow sound play well into what Haskins delivers. His EVI chops and electronics add a haunting dimension to "Me vs. Me" and, later, on "Discernment." Haskins' efforts across the session engage and foster more "free" improvisations and intra- group communication.

The horn, bass and drums ensemble allows significant interplay between the leader and his fine cohorts. The lack of a piano or guitar frees Haskins, Pharr, and Martucci to brilliantly engage in highly sophisticated and complex interchanges. Pharr and Martucci are excellent improvisers always in "conjunction" with the leader.

Ikigai is an absorbing and involving experience. While completely unique, savvy listeners will certainly hear distant reflections of {{Miles Davis]} in his later, "electric" period. With Ikigai Haskins continues his masterful journey—and life's purpose, perhaps -in exploring and delivering musical worlds of wonder.

All About Jazz (Nicholas F. Mondello)

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