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Thinking Spaces: Guelph Reading Group presents Mark Miller

Please join us on Friday, January 11th from 3:00-5:00pm for the first 2013 meeting of the Thinking Spaces Reading Group at the Guelph public library (100 Norfolk Street). Our guest speaker will be esteemed Canadian jazz historian and former Globe & Mail columnist, Mark Miller.

Mark Miller has been a writer — journalist, critic, author, historian —and photographer in the field of music, specifically jazz. for more than 35 years. He is the author of 10 books and served from 1978 to 2005 as the jazz columnist for “Canada’s National Newspaper,” The Globe and Mail. He has also written for Coda Magazine, Down Beat, The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, the Encyclopedia of Music in Canada, Saturday Night and several other popular and scholarly publications.

His interests as an author and historian lay in musicians and stories that have been lost, forgotten or overlooked in the annals of jazz. His books include several studies of jazz in Canada — notably Such Melodious Racket: The Lost History of Jazz in Canada, 1914-1949 (1998) and The Miller Companion to Jazz in Canada (2001) — and a survey of the pioneering American musicians who introduced jazz to Europe, Asia and South America, Some Hustling This! — Taking Jazz to the World, 1914-1929 (2005).

He has also written the biographies High Hat, Trumpet and Rhythm: The Life and Music of Valaida Snow (2007) and Herbie Nichols: A Jazzist’s Life (2009), as well as the biographical studies Cool Blues: Charlie Parker in Canada, 1953 (1989) and Way Down That Lonesome Road: Lonnie Johnson in Toronto, 1965-1970 (2011). Some of his several thousand articles for The Globe and Mail were anthologized in A Certain Respect for Tradition: Mark Miller on Jazz, Selected Writings 1980-2005 (2006).

Miller has been described as “the dean of Canadian jazz journalists” (The Jazz Report, Spring 1998) and is often praised for the clarity of his writing and the depth of his research.

This group is open to all: community members, faculty, and students. We welcome new participants at any time throughout the year. Please join us for stimulating discussions on improvisation! Contact improv@uoguelph.ca or 519-824-4120 x53885 for more information.

More information on the Guelph Reading Group is available here.

Improvisation implies a deep connection between the personal and the communal, self and world. A “good” improviser successfully navigates musical and institutional boundaries and the desire for self-expression, pleasing not only herself but the listener as well.

– Rob Wallace