U of G Hosts Annual Jazz Colloquium

August 27, 2012 - News Release

Top international scholars and music experts will explore the relationships among musical improvisation, pedagogy, social justice and activism during the annual Guelph Jazz Festival Colloquium Sept. 5 to 7 at the University of Guelph.

The three-day event, which is free and open to the public, includes lectures, panel discussions, workshops and musical performances. It starts at 9 a.m. each day at the Macdonald Stewart Art Centre (MSAC).

The colloquium is part of the Guelph Jazz Festival, which runs Sept. 5 to 9.

“Many people call the colloquium the gem of the Guelph Jazz Festival,” said U of G English professor Ajay Heble, who started the festival in 1994 and serves as its artistic director.

The Guelph Jazz Festival has evolved into a world-class showcase for improvised jazz performance and education. Its annual colloquium is the only scholarly event of its kind attached to a major jazz festival in Canada. The event encourages discussion among researchers, creative practitioners, arts presenters and members of the general public.

The gathering will follow Guelph’s Summer Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation, running Aug. 20 to 31. The institute is part of U of G’s Improvisation Community and Social Practice (ICASP) research project.

“For three weeks, we’ll have notable scholars and students from around the world in Guelph exchanging ideas and interacting through words and music,” Heble said. “It’s incredibly energizing.”

Several hundred delegates from 13 countries will attend this year’s colloquium, called “Pedagogy and Praxis: Improvisation as Social Justice and Social Responsibility.”

Wednesday highlights include a keynote talk by South Africa's Gwen Ansell on improvisation and South African musicians at 9 am, a 1 pm workshop featuring the music of John Stevens, and a ticketed evening performance by Beautiful Tool.

Thursday David Ake from the University of Nevada at Reno will give the keynote talk on the ethics of teaching jazz at 9:15 a.m. Later in the day, there will be a 1 pm workshop featuring festival artists, and an evening performance by Muskox.

Friday highlights include on-stage interviews with visiting artists. At 9:15 a.m., Scott Thomson, ICASP improviser-in-residence, will interview multi-instrumentalist, composer and improviser Fred Frith. At 3 p.m., Abdullah Ibrahim, the headlining musician at this year’s Guelph Jazz Festival, will be interviewed by Seneca College’s Winston Smith.

More information, including a full colloquium schedule, is available online.

U of G sponsors of the festival and colloquium include the schools of Fine Art and Music, School of Languages and Literatures, School of English and Theatre Studies, the Offices of the President, Research, Student Affairs, MSAC, Hospitality Services and the Central Student Association.

Other sponsors are the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Lloyd Carr-Harris Foundation, the Chawkers Foundation, the SOCAN Foundation, Canadian Heritage, OX and the Universidad Veracruzana, Mexico.

People interested in volunteering at the colloquium should contact jazzcoll@uoguelph.ca.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338, or lhunt@uoguelph.ca; or Shiona Mackenzie, Ext. 56982, or shiona@exec.uoguelph.ca.

University of Guelph
50 Stone Road East
Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1