Skip to Content

Guelph Jazz Festival Colloquium 2013

Sound Knowledges: A World Artist Summit

University of Guelph, September 4th-6th, 2013

The 2013 edition of the Colloquium will take the form of a global summit for improvisers. Bringing together a diverse range of creative practitioners, scholars, arts presenters, journalists, policy makers, jazz activists, and members of the general public, it will provoke consideration of a wide range of issues related to cultural activism and social responsibility. The papers and creative presentations featured at the summit will help focus public attention on the role that jazz and improvised music have played as catalysts for social engagement, as pivotal agents of change. The summit seeks to raise questions about appropriate models of artistic responsibility as well as to offer a unique forum for musicians to discuss, develop, and showcase new works that will add immeasurably to the body of existing activist art.

What does it mean to be an artist in the world? How can we best assess what it means for performing artists to be socially responsible? How might that responsibility most purposefully and most creatively manifest itself in practice? How does sound translate into knowledge, into obligation, into social action? How have jazz and improvisation been used to create greater understanding and cooperation between cultures? What is the role of translocal contact and cooperation -not the undifferentiated movement of music around the globe, but particular links between specific places as in Brazilian music in New Orleans, Cuban rumba in New York, Mexican son jarocho music from Vera Cruz and Seattle, Indigenous Zapotec music in Fresno? How do indigenous communities across the world improvise, translate, transform, and indigenize the form of jazz (or of other arts practices)? How might institutions concerned to advance transcultural understanding make use of jazz and improvisational arts? Has the globalizing impact of mainstream jazz on world markets (and the festivals that use “jazz” in their title and marketing) led to a homogenizing of the music?

We invite papers and creative presentations that will help focus public attention on the role that jazz and improvised music have played as catalysts for social engagement, as pivotal agents of change. The summit seeks to raise questions, such as the ones above, about appropriate models of artistic responsibility as well as to offer a unique forum for musicians to discuss, develop, and showcase new works that will add immeasurably to the body of existing activist art.

The Colloquium is presented by the Guelph Jazz Festival, in conjunction with the Improvisation, Community, and Social Practice project, the Macdonald Stewart Art Centre, and the University of Guelph.

See bottom of page for links to the 2013 Abstracts & Bios and the original Call For Papers.


All events at Macdonald Stewart Art Centre.
All events are free and open to the public.

Tuesday, September 3rd

Launch of International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation: 7:00p.m.

  • Held at the River Run Centre
  • 7:00 p.m. Reception with President Alastair J. S. Summerlee and Dr. Ajay Heble
  • 8:00 p.m. Performance: World Percussion Summit with Pandit Anindo Chatterjee (India), Dong-Won Kim (South Korea), Hamid Drake (USA), and Jesse Stewart (Canada)
  • Free general admission seating

Wednesday, September 4th

Welcome and Introductory Remarks: 9:00

  • Ajay Heble (Director, International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation, University of Guelph)
  • Kevin Hall (Vice President, Research, University of Guelph)

Plenary Panel, Improvisation, Community, and Social Practice: 9:15-10:45 RESEARCH RESULTS SHOWCASE

  • Moderator: Ellen Waterman (Faculty of Music, Memorial University of Newfoundland)
  • Georgina Born (Faculty of Music, University of Oxford, UK), Improvisation and Social Aesthetics
  • David Lametti (Faculty of Law, McGill University), Improvisation, Law, and Justice
  • George Lipsitz (Department of Black Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara), Improvisation and Transcultural Understanding
  • Kevin McNeilly (Department of English, University of British Columbia), Improvisation, Text, and Media
  • Daniel Weinstock (Faculty of Law, McGill University), Improvisation and Social Policy
  • Jesse Stewart (Music, Carleton University), Improvisation and Pedagogy
  • Sherrie Tucker (American Studies, University of Kansas), Improvisation, Gender, and the Body

Book Launch: 11:00-Noon

Remarks by Daniel Fischlin (Series Editor, Improvisation, Community, and Social Practice, Duke University Press)
People Get Ready: The Future of Jazz is Now! (edited by Ajay Heble and Rob Wallace)
The Fierce Urgency of Now: Improvisation, Rights, and the Ethics of Cocreation (co-authored by Daniel Fischlin, Ajay Heble, and George Lipsitz)

Lunch and ICASP Poster Session: Noon-1:00

Workshop 1:00-2:00 LOTERíA DEL SOTAVENTO, SONIDO DEL SOTOTEMPO | FREE FANDANGO

Alain Derbez, Kali Niño Mendoza, Alec Dempster, Rob Clutton, Jessica Deutsch

Panel 1A: 2:15-3:30 EXTRAMUSICAL LEGACIES: NARRATIVE, MEMORY, AND THE POETICS OF CULTURAL KNOWLEDGE

  • Moderator: TBA
  • Aaron Heisler (English, University of Toronto), "Coltrane's Pursuit of Elegance"
  • David Lee (School of English and Theatre Studies, University of Guelph), "A Place Where Anything Could Happen: Improvised Music and Canadian Modernism, 1974-1988"
  • Sara Villa (Improvisation, Community, and Social Practice, Université de Montréal), "Jayne Cortez: the Improvised Voice of the Performance Poet in the Globalized World"

Panel 1B: 2:15-3:30 GENRE DIVISIONS, DIALOGUE, AND SOCIAL COOPERATION

  • Moderator: TBA
  • Michael Kaler (Ethnomusicology, York University), "Two Streams or One River: The Starfires and Improvisational Divisions"
  • Reva Marin (Humanities, York University), "'Went Up Over the Levee': Stories of Immersion in African American Music and Culture by White Jazz Autobiographers"
  • Carol Ann Weaver (Music, University of Waterloo), "Improvising Song from Natural Sound: Hearing the Kalahari into Music"

Keynote: 3:45-4:45 JAZZ AND THE WAY TO OTHER WORLDS

George Lipsitz (Department of Black Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara)

Performance: 5:00 SANDY EVANS, MATT BRUBECK, PANDIT ANINDO CHATTERJEE

(Australia/Ontario/India)

Thursday, September 5th

Workshop: 9:15-10:15 IN CASE OF EMERGENCY PLEASE BREAK GLASS: A MULTI-MODAL FANTASIA ON PHILIP GLASS'S KNEE PLAY 4 (Ontario)

Sarah Tolmie, Scott Straker, Jack Pender, Jonny Sauder, Danica Guenette, Wendy Tozer, Emily Barkley, Dawn Parker, Sharone Levit, Bola Olubowale, Kate Motagano

Panel 2A: 10:30-11:45 INTERCULTURAL MUSIC EXCHANGE

  • Moderator: TBA
  • Rebecca Caines (Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Regina), "The Shadow of the Crow: Profound Uncertainty in Improvised Community-based New Media"
  • Sandy Evans (Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies, Macquarie University, Australia), "Meetings at the Table of Time: An Australian Saxophonist and Carnatic Improvisers in Dialogue"
  • Rob Wallace (International Studies, Bowling Green State University), "Passages to India"

Panel 2B: 10:30-11:45 SPACE, SOUND, AND MARGINALITY

  • Moderator: TBA
  • Charity Marsh (Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Regina), "Kinnie Starr Declares Sovereignty: Intersections of an Indigenous, Feminist, Activist, and Hip Hop Politics"
  • Roger Mantie & Andrew Goodrich (College of Fine Arts, Boston University), "Jammin' at the Margins: The Educator's Dilemma"
  • Kimberley Teal (Ethnomusicology), "Outsiders Looking Out: The Stone and the Maintenance of Marginality"

Lunch: Noon-1:00

Workshop: 1:00-2:00 JAZZ FUTURES: A BRIDGE TO THE UNKNOWN (USA/Norway/Ontario)

Mark Laver (Host), Nicole Mitchell, Anja Lauvdal, Fredrik Luhr Dietrichson, Hans Hulbækmo, David Dove, Isaiah Farahbakhsh

Panel 3A: 2:15-3:30 TRANSCULTURAL ENCOUNTERS AND MIXED MEDIA

  • Moderator: TBA
  • Kevin McNeilly (Department of English, University of British Columbia), "Carnets de Routes Improvisées: Transcultural Encounters in the work of Guy Le Querrec and the Romano-Sclavis-Texier Trio"
  • Alan Stanbridge (Department of Arts, Culture, and Media, University of Toronto at Scarborough), "All the Rest is Propaganda: Jazz, Class, and Race in British New Wave Cinema"

Panel 3B: 2:15-3:30 MUSICAL RADICALISM AND SOCIAL ACTIVISM

  • Moderator: TBA
  • Charlie Bramley (School of Arts and Cultures, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK), "Too Important to Be Left to the Musicians: Creating Alternative Musical Knowledge(s) through unMusical, Improvised Activism"
  • Craig Pollard (Culture Lab and the International Centre for Music Studies, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK), "Subversion is Fertile: Happenings, Fabulations and DIY"
  • Chris Tonelli (Improvisation, Community, and Social Practice, University of Guelph), "Improvised Soundsinging and the Police"

Keynote: 3:45-4:45 SOUND AS MEDICINAL HERB: CREATIVE MUSIC 61 YEARS IN TRANSITION

William Parker (New York)

Performance: 5:00 THE OOLONG 7 (Ontario)

Friday September 6th

Plenary Interview: 9:15-10:30

Pharaoh Sanders and Wadada Leo Smith

Plenary: 10:45-11:45

Rapporteur Summary Session and Performance (with special guests Marianne Trudel and Hamid Drake)
Featuring an interview with Jeff Schlanger (musicWitness®) conducted by Scott Thomson

Lunch: Noon-1:00

Workshop: 1:00-2:00 IN OTHER SPACES: IMPROVISING INTERVENTIONS (USA/Brazil/Quebec/Ontario)

Joane Hétu, Danielle Palardy Roger, Jean Derome, Lori Freedman, Scott Thomson, Anthony Davis, John Lindberg, Anthony Brown, Rob Mazurek, Ben Grossman (Host)

Panel 4A: 2:00-3:15 IMPROVISING COMMUNITY IN THE CLASSROOM

  • Moderator: TBA
  • Mark Laver (Improvisation, Community, and Social Practice, University of Guelph), "The Share: Improvising Community"
  • Nick Sorensen (School of Education, Bath Spa University, UK), "The Teacher as Improvising Pedagogue: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Uncovering the Nature of Teacher Expertise"
  • Gayle Young (Musicworks Magazine), "Response Able: Response and Responsibility"
  • Thomas Zlabinger (Department of Performing and Fine Arts, York College/CUNY), "Widening the Spectrum of Taught Musical Improvisation: The Story of the York College Creative Ensemble"

Panel 4B: 2:00-3:15 RHYTHM CHANGES: JAZZ CULTURES AND EUROPEAN IDENTITIES

  • Moderator: TBA
  • Tony Whyton (Salford Music Research Centre, University of Salford, UK), "Rhythm Changes: Understanding the Cultural Politics of European Jazz"
  • Walter van de Leur (Department of Musicology, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands), "Representing Europe: the Dutch, Jazz, and Death"
  • Loes Rusch (University of Amsterdam, Netherlands), "Dutch Jazz in the Making: Musical Ownership and the Process of Transformative Collaboration"

Panel 5A: 3:30-4:45 ANCIENT TO THE FUTURE: MYTH, TECHNOLOGY, AND COMMUNITY

  • Jeff Albert (Music Industry Technology, Loyola University New Orleans), "Valued Features of Improvised Musical Interactions (or what I learned from my computerized improvisation partner)"
  • Brian Lefresne (School of English and Theatre Studies, University of Guelph), "'A Spectacle of Resistance': Sun Ra, Bakhtin, and the Carnival"
  • Alexandre Pierrepont (Paris 7 - Denis Diderot, Sciences Po, Paris, France/Columbia University), "The Society in and out of the AACM: 'Unity and Diversity in the Secret Garden of Life'"
  • Matt Valnes (Music, University of Pennsylvania), "Sounds of the Afrofuture: Improvisation and Technology in 1970s Popular Music"

Panel 5B: 3:30-4:45 IMPROVISATION, PHILOSOPHY, AND LISTENING

  • Gust Burns (Music/Sound, Bard College), "review studies: not-listening on stage with non-sounding"
  • Marcel Swiboda (School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies, University of Leeds, UK), "Dialoguing the Present: Improvisation and Collective "Transformation" as Critical Responses to Contemporary Malaises"
  • Christopher J. Wells (Musicology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), "Feeling Jazz 'Under the Skin': The Lindy Hop and Embodied, Participatory Listening"

Performance: 5:00 TISZIJI MUNOZ QUARTET(USA/Ontario)

$20/$18 Students and Seniors

This colloquium is generously sponsored by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), the Lloyd Carr-Harris Foundation, the Chawkers Foundation, the SOCAN Foundation, Canadian Heritage/Patrimoine canadien, an anonymous private donor, OX, the Macdonald Stewart Art Centre, the Office of the President, the Office of the Vice-President (Research), the Office of the Associate Vice-President (Student Affairs), the School of English and Theatre Studies, the School of Fine Art and Music, the School of Languages and Literatures, and the Central Student Association at the University of Guelph.

Archived Abstracts and Bios

Please click here to download an archived copy of the 2013 Colloquium abstracts and bios in PDF form.

Archived Call For Papers

Please click here to download an archived copy of the 2013 Colloquium Call For Papers in PDF form.

There is a curious yet enormously fruitful duality in the way that improvisation plays on our expectations and perspectives.

– Tracey Nicholls