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Guelph Jazz Festival 2021

September 14, 2021 - September 19, 2021

We are thrilled to announce our plans to present an in-person live music festival, 14-19 September in Guelph, Ontario. The 2021 Guelph Jazz Festival programming is conceived to offer our audiences a range of exciting musical experiences that can be engaged both safely and festively.

It includes three streams of programming, featuring exclusively Canadian talent:

1) Free outdoor concerts at four city parks including in neighbourhoods where we have never presented previously, and in partnership with local Neighbourhood Groups: York Road Park, Mollison Park, Norm Jary Park & Brant Park

Three thematic programs (three groups each) will play in a different park on Thursday 16 September (4:30-7:15), Friday 17 September (4:30-7:15), and Saturday 18 September (2:30-5:15)

Groups include:

• Revival Ensemble plays Ellington’s Far East Suite ­­­­­–– Toronto reed player Ted Crosby has assembled a superb twelve-piece ensemble to re-envision this Ellingtonian classic

• Aline Morales’s Baque de Bamba –– ten-piece Toronto band featuring Brazilian singing and percussion

• Boxcar Boys –– Southern-Ontario quintet playing quirky originals in the style of klezmer, Dixieland, and New Orleans brass-band

• Togetherness! –– Ellwood Epps’s Montreal quintet featuring the singular playing of Jean Derome and Lori Freedman on music by master South African jazz composers, Abdullah Ibrahim, Dudu Pukwana, Mongezi Feza, and more

• Ensemble Jeng Yi –– eight-piece Toronto group featuring traditional Korean percussion, zither, and dance

• Teri Parker’s Free Spirits –– Toronto quintet playing repertoire by undersung African American composers Mary Lou Williams and Geri Allen

• Amadeo Ventura’s Spoken Rhythms –– Guelph-Toronto collaboration blending contemporary poetry and Afro-Cuban percussion 

• Turkish Music Ensemble –– Toronto quartet performing traditional Turkish music on ney, baglama, percussion, and voice

• one more ensemble to be announced

2) Select Indoor Concerts at Downtown Venues with Limited Capacity:

• Rob Clutton Trio –– seasoned Toronto composer and bassists latest project with drummer Nick Fraser and saxophonist Karen Ng

• Jim Lewis & Jean Martin –– new project by long-time collaborators that add electronics to Lewis’s outstanding trumpet-playing and Martin’s propulsive drumming

• SlowPitchSound –– Toronto turntablist and sound artist featured in a new project that employs Guelph-specific field recordings

• Quatuor Bozzini plays Martin Arnold –– Montreal string quartet are peerless in their interpretation of contemporary composers like Martin Arnold, whose unique aesthetics have influenced two generations of Toronto experimental music

3) Special projects and site-specific installations and performances

• Andrew Wedman, ‘Bass Piano XII’ –– BC composer and piano technician Wedman takes old upright pianos and tunes them down an octave to remarkable sonic effect, to be explored in a series of concerts by Casey SokolTania Gill, and Ryan Driver, featuring a talk-back after the September 17th performance co-presented by IICSI.

• Sound and lighting installation in the Goldie Mill Ruins on the theme of grain and milling by Guelph composer and sound artist Lisa Conway (co-presented by IICSI)

• Friendly Rich Marsella, ‘The Birds of Marsville’ –– New composition by Friendly Rich on his orchestrion (street organ) and featuring elements of absurdist theatre in three site-specific outdoor presentations during the festival weekend

Full schedule, artists biographical notes, and further information about the 2021 Guelph Jazz Festival will be published on in the weeks to come.

Box office information for ticketed concerts will be announced toward the end of August, once capacity limits for ticketed concerts are better known.

All programming has been developed in consultation with Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health, and will follow current Public Health protocols regarding physical distancing, masking, contact tracing, and capacity limits. Programming is subject to change depending on current Public Health conditions.

For audience members who are unable to attend the in-person events safely, we will be presenting a digital broadcast of several of these concerts two weeks following the festival. This segment of the programming will be presented the weekend of 1-3 October and is sponsored by TD Bank.

For more information, please see or contact Scott Thomson, Artistic and General Director, [email protected] // 519-763-4952


September 14, 2021
September 19, 2021
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