Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Guelph Jazz Festival Colloquium

Wednesday, September 12, 2018 - Saturday, September 15, 2018

Event Navigation

The Guelph Jazz Festival Colloquium returns September 12-15 featuring curated panels, speakers and performances.

Hosted by the International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation (IICSI) in partnership with the Guelph Jazz Festival, the University of Guelph and the Art Gallery of Guelph, this year’s Colloquium explores the interplay between literature and music through the theme “Hovering at the Edge: Words, Music, Sound and Song.”



This year’s keynote speaker is Columbia University professor Brent Hayes Edwards. Edwards’ latest book Epistrophies explores the fertile intersection of jazz and literature, and was the thematic inspiration for this year’s colloquium. Taking place Sept. 15 (10:30 a.m.) at the Art Gallery of Guelph, and co-presented with the Guelph Film Festival, Edwards’ keynote will include a special screening and discussion of the legendary 16mm short film Sweet Willie Rollbar’s Orientation, which features saxophonist Julius Hemphill, poet K. Curtis Lyle, actor Malinke Elliott, and other members of the Black Artists’ Group of St. Louis during the 1970s.


Composer, improviser, and artistic visionary, Douglas R. Ewart returns to Guelph to exhibit artistic works created during his time as Improviser-in-Residence, and used in the large-scale community improvisation event Crepescule, orchestrated during his residency. Join us for the opening reception on Sept. 13 (5PM) at 10C 42 Carden St.

“Sound and stories are crucial spiritual, emotional, and intellectual foods that we all must partake of in order to thrive!” — Douglas Ewart, 2015-16 Improviser-in-Residence



Acclaimed poet, novelist and recipient of the Governor General’s Literary Award, Dionne Brand will appear in conversation with professor Winston Smith on Sept. 14 (9 a.m.) at the Art Gallery of Guelph, 358 Gordon Street, co-presented with the Eden Mills Writer’s Festival. Join us as they discuss jazz, identity politics and Brand’s new novels Theory and The Blue Clerk, an original work about the act of writing itself.



We are thrilled to announce the development of our Emerging Scholars Program, which offers ten individuals the opportunity to connect with panelists, presenters, and other distinguished guests including author and University of Guelph professor, Lawrence Hill, during the Colloquium and Festival, and at an intimate two-hour emerging scholars breakfast. Selected scholars will also receive tickets to Guelph Jazz Festival performances, and an opportunity to publish insights gained at the Festival and Colloquium on our website.


We are thrilled to welcome a leader in improvised and avant-garde music in Spain, Agustí Fernández, to our Thursday At Noon concert series. Join us on Sept. 13 at the University of Guelph Goldschmidt Room, to experience the unique sound of this world-renowned pianist.

Thanya Iyer brings the experimental pop music from her critically acclaimed mixtape “Do you dream?” to Branion Plaza at the Univesity of Guelph for a special Noon-Hour concert on Sept. 14. Co-presented by the Central Student Association and the Guelph Jazz Festival, Thanya Iyer’s simmering vocals and gentle instrumentals create a pop experience you won’t want to miss.

Saxophonist and composer Darius Jones and singer Amirtha Kidambi join forces for an intimate voice-saxophone duo concert.  Join these brilliant musicians and friends on Sept. 14 (5:30 p.m.) at Silence.



Explore the artists behind the music with panel discussions and post-concert talks with some of the Guelph Jazz Festival visiting artists, including Rory Magill, Christine Duncan and the Rainbow Chorus as they discuss their experience working with community organized ensembles on Sept. 12 (9:30 p.m.) at the Guelph Little Theatre. 

This year, Ajay Heble, Director of the International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation, and Artistic Director Emeritus and Founder of the Guelph Jazz Festival will moderate a roundtable conversation with his fellow IICSI colleagues Kevin McNeilly, Sara Villa, Rob Wallace, and Paul Watkins. This conversation about their research on jazz, improvisation, and poetry will take place on Sept. 13 (2 p.m.) at Silence. Also on Sept. 13 (3:30 p.m.) at SilenceVilde Aaslid, and Meta DuEwa Jones will give talks on poetry and jazz, articulating the connections between jazz, poetry and gender.

Jean Derome’ Someone Special focuses on the music of American soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy, specifically the compositions he wrote for his wife Irene Aebi. Join Jean Derome and Canadian singer Karen Young before the show on Sept. 15 (6 p.m.) at the Guelph Youth Music Centre as they discuss the marriage of music and literature in Steve Lacy’s musical tributes to his wife.

This years artist panel takes place Sept. 14 (4 p.m.) at Silence and brings together Montreal based singer Thanya Iyer, New York alto saxophonist and composer of Le bébé de Brigitte (Lost in Translation) Darius Jones, alongside two formidable singers and composers Emilie Lesbros and Amirtha Kidambi to discuss the intersection of music and language and the process of these unique artists. 


Wednesday, September 12, 2018
Saturday, September 15, 2018
Event Category: