Guelph Jazz Festival Colloquium • convened by IICSI

“The Third Decade: Forging a Legacy of Improvisation at the Guelph Jazz Festival” • presented in Partnership with the International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation (IICSI)

Amplifying this year’s 30th Anniversary edition of The Guelph Jazz Festival (GJF), the improvisation community will gather to reflect on, share, and celebrate the significance and impact of this unique and award-winning world-class event. In this “third decade,” a nod to a 1984 recording by former GJF performers The Art Ensemble of Chicago — a group that has left its own indelible mark on the history of jazz — we pause to consider the vital role that this home-grown community-based event, the Guelph Jazz Festival, has played in shaping the Canadian and international musical landscapes. We also consider the various ways the Festival has helped to usher in new ways of imagining and conceptualizing the power of improvisation as both a musical and a social practice. It is in this spirit that, for this year’s edition of the Guelph Jazz Festival Colloquium, we convene a series of special panels involving former and current GJF performers, affiliated researchers, jazz journalists, and emerging voices to recount their relationships and experiences with The Guelph Jazz Festival. How, these panels will ask, do we understand the Festival’s legacy, and how might we reimagine that legacy in the future? Beyond innovative and international programming and critically-acclaimed performances, the GJF has also significantly provided the foundation and fertile ground for expansive educative endeavours and initiatives — such as the Guelph Jazz Festival Colloquium and the formation of international scholarly networks and institutions — that continue to benefit musical and scholarly communities worldwide. In this special retrospective edition of the Colloquium, we will curate four streams of panelists: 

Thursday 14 September | ImprovLab, University of Guelph

9am • The Future of Jazz in Guelph • Artists and scholars discuss their relationship with the  GJF and what they imagine for the future, with Nick Fraser, Karen Ng, Joe Sorbara

10:30am • Writing Jazz • Journalists discuss their relationship with the GJF and the role it has played in the musical landscape in Canada  and around the world, with Stuart Broomer, Sara Villa, Josef Woodard

Friday 15 September | MacKinnon Multipurpose Room, University of Guelph

9am • Researching Jazz • Researchers discuss their relationship with the GJF and the role it has played in helping shape a new field of scholarly inquiry, with Eric Lewis, Jesse Stewart, EllenWaterman

10:30am • Playing Jazz • Artists/Performers (past/present) discuss their relationship with the GJF and its impact on the field in Canada and beyond, with Douglas Ewart, Lori Freedman, François Houle

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