University of Mobile Professor Travels to Cuba to Perform in Major Jazz Festival

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MOBILE, Ala. – University of Mobile Associate Professor of Music Kenn Hughes traveled to Havana, Cuba, to perform with the Metro Big Band in the 33rd Annual Havana International Jazz Festival in January.

The Metro Big Band is a classic jazz band with the size and style of the big bands from the ’50s to today. The Metro Big Band, directed by Camp Kirkland, has performed worldwide, including Brazil, Finland, Scotland, Japan, Russia, Ukraine, Portugal, Cuba, Austria and Guatemala.

This was not the first time Hughes has traveled to Cuba. Though the Global Missions Project, Hughes has coordinated many musical mission projects to Cuba.

The Metro Big Band previously worked with a church in Cuba through Global Missions Project, where it was heard by Cubans associated with the jazz festival. Soon, the band received a formal letter of invitation to participate in the Havana International Jazz Festival.

“The Havana Jazz Festival was a wonderful experience. The culture, the event, the people were all incredible.  We were blessed to have many opportunities to engage with the Cuban people as well as jazz artists from all over the world,” said Hughes, who also directs RamCorps which traveled to Cuba in May 2017. RamCorps is one of 19 performing ensembles in UM’s Alabama School of the Arts.

Global Missions Project leads Christian musicians in sharing Christ with the world while ministering through music. In the past 13 years, Global Missions Project has taken nearly 10,000 individuals to over 28 countries around the world to share the Gospel.


About University of Mobile:
University of Mobile is a Christ-centered liberal arts and sciences institution with a vision of higher education for a higher purpose, founded to honor God by equipping students for their future professions through rigorous academic preparation and spiritual transformation. Core values are: Christ-Centered, Academically-Focused, Student-Devoted and Distinctively-Driven. The university offers on-campus and online bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in over 40 areas of study. Founded in 1961, University of Mobile is affiliated with the Alabama Baptist State Convention and is located 10 miles north of Mobile, Alabama on a campus of over 880 acres. For more information about University of Mobile, visit the website at or call Enrollment Services at 1.800.WIN.RAMS or 251.442.2222.

About the Author

Katie West

Katie West is photographer and videographer for the University of Mobile. She will graduate in December 2021 with a Bachelor of Science in Worship Technology. Over the years, she has worked with a variety of churches and business across the southeast. She believes that everyone has a story worth telling and is passionate about capturing and telling those stories.

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