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Improvisation in a Community Centre

The Carnegie Jazz Band

The Carnegie Centre is a community centre whose mandate is to serve the needs of residents of Vancouver’s Downtown East Side neighbourhood, one of the most challenging inner-city environments in Canada. One of the creative opportunities for residents is the Carnegie Jazz Band, led by Brad Muirhead. On the video, Brad talks about his experiences conducting the band. His philosophy is to make a space where both beginners and more experienced players feel welcome and can benefit from the experience of playing with the band.

Violinist and graduate student researcher, Tegan Ceschi-Smith has been playing in the Carnegie Jazz Band since the beginning of 2010. She has written a short essay reflecting on her experiences playing with the band and about designing a collaborative research project that brings together her work in Music Education at the University of British Columbia and her work with the Coastal Jazz and Blues Society.


Improvisation in a Community Centre: Performance, Activism, and Research with the Carnegie Centre Jazz Band

Carnegie Centre Website (City of Vancouver)

Carnegie Centre Website (Community Access Portal)

Coastal Jazz and Blues Society Website

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