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Thinking Spaces with Shirantha Beddage

Please join us for the next meeting of the Thinking Spaces Reading Group on January 25, 2013 from 3-5pm in the public library at 100 Norfolk Street. Our guest speaker will be Dr. Shirantha Beddage, saxophonist and head of Theory and Harmony in the Music Department at Humber College. Dr. Beddage's talk is entitled, "Jazz Pedagogy: Classroom and community in the digital age."

This special talk will explore the question, how does one create community in the music classroom, in an age where our lives are often increasingly fragmented through modern technologies? Through exploring concepts of social constuctivism and contemporary jazz pedagogy, this session will focus on using technology to foster and develop learning in community.

Baritone saxophonist Shirantha Beddage (pronounced Shur-RAN-tha BED-da-gay) is a nationally recognized performer, composer and educator. He has performed extensively across the United States and Canada with his quartet, and he currently performs and records with numerous Toronto musicians such as Nancy Walker, Alex Dean and Bruce Cassidy. He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree (D.M.A.) in Jazz Studies from the Eastman School of Music (Rochester, New York), a Master of Music degree in Jazz Studies from William Paterson University (New Jersey) and a Bachelor of Music degree from Toronto’s Humber College, where he now serves as head of Theory and Harmony in the Music department.

Shirantha Beddage’s new CD, Identity (2012) is available now on Addo Records. His quartet, featuring Dave Restivo (piano), Mike Downes (bass), and Mark Kelso (drums), is heavily featured on a variety of Shirantha’s original compositions, reflecting a complex mix of emotional states and moods. The record also features special guests Nathan Eklund (trumpet) and Larnell Lewis (drums). Shirantha’s first album, Roots and Branches (2007), featuring his original compositions, is distributed internationally through Jazz Excursion Records and iTunes. For more information, please visit Shirantha's official webpage.

As always, please spread the word to your peers, students, fellow artists and friends. We would like to see more community members and university colleagues and friends joining us.

The Thinking Spaces series will continue with meetings on February 8 (Mark Laver, "Jazz, Neoliberalism, and the Lincoln Centre), March 8 (Susan McClary and Robert Walser), March 25 (TBC), and April 5 (TBC).

Musical improvisation is a crucial model for political, cultural, and ethical dialogue and action.

– Ajay Heble