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Guelph Graduate, ICASP researcher, and Jazz Festival Mainstay Wins Juno!

University of Guelph graduate Jesse Stewart has won a Juno Award for Instrumental Album of the Year with his band the Stretch Orchestra. The annual honours were handed out Sunday night in Ottawa.

Stewart, an accomplished jazz percussionist, composer and artist, is a two-time U of G graduate, completing a BA in 1993 and a PhD in literature/theatre studies in 2008. He also has two master’s degrees from York University.

“This is a richly deserved honour for a dear friend who will always hold a special place in the University of Guelph community,” said English professor Ajay Heble, who was Stewart’s PhD adviser. “Jesse’s remarkable work as both a creative practitioner and a scholar continues to be a tremendous source of inspiration for me.”

Heble and Stewart produced a CD together called Different Windows, a percussion-piano duo, and worked together on the Guelph Jazz Festival, which Heble founded in 1994. Stewart was the festival’s assistant artistic director for many years and has performed numerous times.

He is currently a professor in the School for Studies in Art and Culture at Carleton University.

See the full news announcement here: Juno winner

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

– Tracey Nicholls