Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs 519 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

January 04, 2007

Creative Improvisation Festival Coming to Guelph

Sometimes things come together through pure serendipity — and often that’s how the best music is made. From Jan. 12 to 17, the University of Guelph will host two of the world’s most-renowned improvising musicians — Pauline Oliveros and William Parker — for the Creative Improvisation Festival.

The festival was born as a result of a unique partnership among the University’s School of Fine Art and Music (SOFAM), the Guelph Jazz Festival and NUMUS, one of Canada’s most active new music societies. It will include a series of talks, performances and workshops by Oliveros and Parker, both of whom happen to be in the Guelph area this January

“It’s an incredible opportunity for our students and the broader community to work with these world-renowned musicians,” said Guelph music professor Ellen Waterman. “I can’t imagine a better way to start the year.”

Oliveros will kick off the festival with a public talk on Friday, Jan. 12, at 11:30 a.m. in the MacKinnon Building, Room 107. She has been a pioneer of electronic music since the early 1950s and is one of the most respected composer/performer/improvisers. At 8 p.m. Friday, Oliveros will perform in War Memorial Hall with Waterman, who is a flutist, and with percussionist Jesse Stewart, a U of G graduate and former director of the Guelph Ensemble for Musical Improvisation who is now artistic director of NUMUS.

Sunday, Jan. 14, Parker will begin a four-day residency in Guelph. The Village Voice calls Parker, a New York jazz bassist, “the most brilliant free jazz bassist of all time.” He is also a favourite of Guelph Jazz Festival audiences.

Parker will hold a 2 p.m. concert at the Guelph Youth Music Centre with Stewart and baritone saxophonist David Mott. In addition, Parker will work closely with SOFAM music students and with Guelph high school students through the Guelph Jazz Festival’s “Jazz in the Schools” program.

Wednesday, Jan. 17, he will perform with U of G and high school students in a special 7 p.m. concert in the George Luscombe Theatre in the MacKinnon Building. The performance is free and open to the public.

Tickets for the Pauline Oliveros, Jesse Stewart and Ellen Waterman Jan. 12 performance in War Memorial Hall are $20 and $12; available at the door or by contacting Stewart at

Tickets for the William Parker, Jesse Stewart, David Mott Jan. 14 performance at the Guelph Youth Music Centre are $20 and $12; available at the door or by e-mail at, or calling 519-763-4952.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt (519) 824-4120, Ext. 53338, or Rachelle Cooper, Ext. 56982.

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