The annual Guelph Jazz Festival Colloquium features panel discussions, keynote speakers, artist talks, workshops and more.
Updated August 12, 2017
Adam Tinkle is a multidisciplinary artist and scholar interested in immersion, transformation and the audio-visionary. Trained in music, he works in sound, intermedia, performance, and participatory/collaborative modalities. His practice is grounded in reverence for the moment, whether he is improvising on the saxophone, constructing unstable electronic systems, DJing live on the radio, or composing in vernacular song-form traditions. His recent collaborations include “whaleworks” (a fully staged chamber work with sounds and stories from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography), “Music for Mineral Springs (a tasting-concert with Chris Kallmyer/Machine Project), “3015” (a sound installation produced with performance art icon Marina Abramovic), “The Hard Problem” (a podcast/radio play with science fiction novelist Kim Stanley Robinson), and “They Shoot Lasers, Don’t They?: Electronic Music Theatre with Instruments of Interferometry,” (workshopped at Stanford’s CCRMA and NYU’s Waverly Project with inventor Joe Mariglio). As a curator, he has produced “backcountry sound pilgrimages,” exhibitions devoted to the influence of Sun Ra on contemporary art, and concerts in trains and aquaria. He has studied with Alvin Lucier, Anthony Braxton, Pauline Oliveros, Anthony Davis, and Charles Curtis, and holds a PhD from UC San Diego. He co-founded Risky Forager Records, has been published in Leonardo Music Journal and Organised Sound, and teaches at Skidmore College, where he is associate director of the John B. Moore Documentary Studies Program (MDOCS) and a guiding faculty of the annual MDOCS Storytellers’ Institute since its inception in 2015.
Aldon Lynn Nielsen
Aldon Lynn Nielsen, who has presented at the Guelph Colloquium in the past, is the Kelly Professor of American Literature at the Pennsylvania State University. His monographs include Integral Music, Black Chant, C.L.R. James: A Critical Introduction, Writing between the Lines and Reading Race. His new book of poetry, Tray, is forthcoming from Make Now Press. Previous poetry volumes include Heat Strings, Evacuation Routes, Stepping Razor, VEXT, Mixage, Mantic Semantic and A Brand New Beggar.He is the editor of the award-winning posthumos volume by Lorenzo Thomas, Don’t Deny My Name: Words, Music, and the Black Intellectual Tradition.
Bryn Scott-Grimes is a professional musician, songwriter, and arts entrepreneur in Toronto. After graduating with honours in 2012 from York University’s music program, he founded the Bryn Scott-Grimes Harmonica School, which teaches people from all walks of life to play the world’s most popular instrument. In 2016, Bryn was the lead music educator in the documentary, Me & My Harmonica, which tells the compelling story of Sid, a man who uses the harmonica to bring harmony, happiness, and peace to the world. Bryn has released 4 solo albums, including his latest, Room on Ossington; he wrote, produced, and played all of the instruments in the album. His harmonica also accompanies singer-songwriter Anna Gutmanis, and he is half of Taylor & Bryn, the award-winning duo (www.taylorandbryn.com) with its high-energy infusions of improvisation, melody, wit, soaring harmonies, sophisticated guitar solos, and beat-boxing harmonica. Currently, Bryn is writing a musical and manages Silverthorn Studios (www.silverthornstudios.ca), a professional recording studio and Airbnb in Toronto’s Stockyards district.
Cathy is in the final stages of writing her PhD dissertation in Social Work at McMaster University . Through engaging with the art of improvisation, Cathy’s work investigates our processes of relating. Drawing from her training in improvisational comedy, modern dance, and physical theatre, Cathy’s practice involves a real-time and physical orientation that elicits continuous interdependence.Her research and practice call for exploration and active reflection on the ways in which less-scripted and routine ways of being with others, can provide transformative alternatives to community practices, research and education. Cathy’s research and practice continue to take place locally and internationally, both within and outside of academia – with students, artistic communities, academics,community groups, and businesses.
Dhiren Panikker is a Ph.D. candidate in ethnomusicology at the University of California, Riverside. His dissertation research examines brownness and the politics of interculturalism in contemporary jazz and creative music. Dhiren holds an MFA (2010) in Integrated Composition, Improvisation, and Technology (ICIT) from the University of California, Irvine, and a B.M. in Jazz Studies (2008) from California State University, Fullerton. Dhiren is the recipient of numerous awards and scholarships including the Gluck Fellowship (2015, 2016), Dean’s Distinguished Fellowship (2014), Medici Foundation Scholarship (2009), and Stephen Allen Memorial Scholarship (2007). He has presented his research at numerous national and international conferences including the International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation (IICSI), the InternationalAssociation for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM), and the Society for Ethnomusicology, Southern California and Hawaii Chapter (SEMSCHC). An active pianist and composer, Dhiren has performed at prominent venues throughout Los Angeles including the Blue Whale, the Jazz Bakery, Catalina Jazz Club, and Vitello’s Jazz and Supper Club. He currently performs and tours regularly with his own group, Trio Sangha. Outside of performance, Dhiren maintains a full studio of jazz piano students and conducts master classes and workshops throughout Southern California.
Dr Francesco Paradiso is Research Fellow at the University of Wolverhampton, UK. He holds a PhD in Philosophy from the University of New South Wales, Australia. Besides conducting his own research, Dr Paradiso engages also in research development across the four schools of the Faculty of Arts at Wolverhampton, supporting fellow academics in research proposal development and bid writing. His research interests focus on deconstruction and the arts, especially music. This study is part of his research project “Hospitable offbeats: jazz improvisation and the unconditional welcome”, funded through the Early Researcher Award Scheme (ERAS) of the University of Wolverhampton.
Georgia Simms is a dance artist, educator and facilitator who is passionate about communication and creativity. She completed her academic degrees in International Development (BA) and Geography (MA) with a focus on environmental governance. She also worked as a Research Associate with the Water Policy and Governance Group at the University of Waterloo, all the while studying and performing with Dancetheatre David Earle, a professional dance company operating in downtown Guelph.
In seeking to combine her social science sensibilities with her dance practice, she decided to investigate the field of art for social change, opting to study briefly at the International Centre for Art for Social Change at Simon Fraser University as well as the Dance Exchange in Tacoma Park, MD.
Aspects of her artistic practice, including attention to body language, choreography, improvisation and composition, directly inform and influence her current activities, which include the development of creative facilitation training, dialogue design and arts-based research methods. She offers learning experiences that are physically-focused, interactive and energetic.
She is actively experimenting with civic engagement and knowledge mobilization strategies that are based in creative process and performance. Her current initiatives with the Community Engaged Scholarship Institute at the University of Guelph represent a synthesis of her experiences and her belief in the power of art to provide us with tools and skills for social innovation.
Gregory Pierrot is on the faculty of the University of Connecticut at Stamford. His books include AnHistorical Account of the Black Empire of Hayti by Marcus Rainsford. Ed., with Paul Youngquist, An Anthology of Haitian Revolutionary Fictions, and the English translation of Free Jazz/BlackPower, by Philippe Carles and Jean-Louis Comolli. Work in progress includes The Black Avenger in Atlantic Culture
Hannah Burgé Luviano
Hannah Burgé Luviano received her M.F.A. in ethnomusicology from York University. She is currently an instructor at Centennial College. Her research focuses on vocal jazz music, and extends to themes of improvisation, community outreach, gender, and identity studies. Her 2015 debut album, Green River Sessions is available on iTunes worldwide, and has received airplay on over 300 radio stations. Hannah is in production of her sophomore album, with a release date slated for early 2018.
James Aldridge is a first-year PhD candidate in Historical Musicology at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH. His work explores the ontological implications of improvisational musics, the role of quotation in defining jazz sub-genre, and the significance of medical rhetoric in processes of musical analysis.
Jeannette Hicks is a visual artist and a PhD candidate in Philosophy at the University of Guelph. As a member of the installation art collective Tongue & Groove, she has collaborated on playful participatory installations that invite critical reflection on lived space for Nuit Blanche Toronto, Land/slide: Possible Futures, Whippersnapper Gallery, and the AGO’s Toronto Now series. As a Research Assistant for the International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation (IICSI) she contributes to ongoing research on how improvisational arts can cultivate and strengthen communities. Her current philosophical research investigates agency and resistance in Michel Foucault’s archaeology of the visual arts. She holds a BFA in Visual Arts & Philosophy from York University and an MA in Philosophy from the University of Guelph.She is currently exploring graphic notation as inter-arts improvisation through a series of improvisational ink drawings made in collaboration with clarinettist François Houle.
Jeane-Philippe Marcoux is the author of Jazz Griots: Music as History in the 1960s African American Poem. He is on the faculty of the Université Laval. His research focuses on the cross-fertilizations between Black music, literature, especially poetry, and social movements. His research is also concerned with the literary foundations and forefathers of these movements, which has led to articles on Langton Hughes. He is deeply invested in studies on the “New” Black Poetry of the 1960s. He has produced book chapters (to be published) on Sonia Sanchez and Amiri Baraka. He is currently working on a literary history of the Umbra poets. His other research interests include the literary counterculture in the U.S. (1945-1970), and experimental poetry.
Jesse Stewart is a composer, percussionist, visual artist, researcher, and educator. His music has been documented on over twenty recordings including Stretch Orchestra’s self-titled debut album, which was honoured with the 2012 “Instrumental Album of the Year” Juno award. He has performed and/or recorded with musical luminaries including Pauline Oliveros, Hamid Drake, William Parker, Joe Mcphee, David Mott, Dong-Won Kim, and many others. His music has been performed at festivals throughout Canada, in Europe and in the United States and he has been widely commissioned as a composer and artist. His writings on music and art have appeared in such journals as American Music, Black Music Research Journal, Contemporary Music Review, Intermedialities, and in numerous edited anthologies.
He is a professor of music in Carleton University’s School for Studies in Art and Culture and an adjunct professor in the Visual Arts program at the University of Ottawa. In 2013, he received Carleton University’s Marston LaFrance Research Fellowship. He has also received numerous teaching awards including a Carleton University Teaching Achievement Award, the university’s highest honour in recognition of teaching excellence. In 2014, he was named to the Order of Ottawa.
Keith Loach holds a Bachelor of Music (Faculty of Music, University of Toronto) and a Master of Business Administration (Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto). He is currently enrolled in the doctoral program at York University for a PhD Music. His area of study is how music can be used to improve our quality of life, specifically in the area of neurorhythmics and the profoundly positive effect of movement, rhythmicity and improvisation on the brain.
Marcel Swiboda’s current research mobilises the conjuncture of improvisation, philosophy and technics as a vehicle for critiquing the instrumentalisations of contemporary technological and political culture. He is co-editor (with Nicholas Chare) of a special themed issue of the journal Liminalities (online), entitled ‘Unforeseen Encounters: Improvisation and Theory’ (forthcoming, 2017).
Dr. Mark Lomanno, a visiting assistant professor of music at Northeastern University, specializes in jazz studies, ethnomusicology, and music of the Afro-Atlantic world. His research focuses on how marginalized peoples utilize improvisation to create opportunities for self-advocacy, critical action, and social change. His current projects include ethnographic, archival, and performance work in the Canary Islands and a monograph on intercultural improvisation and interdisciplinary pedagogy. Selected publications include: articles in the journals Jazz Perspectives and Ethnomusicology Review; and forthcoming chapters in the volumes Sound Changes: Improvisation, Social Practice, and Cultural Difference (Duke University Press); Sound, Sensation, Performance: Reconfiguring the Boundaries of Ethnographic Experience; and the Routledge Companion to Jazz Studies. He currently serves as Co-Chair of the Society for Ethnomusicology’s Improvisation Section and is co-editing a special issue of the journal Critical Studies in Improvisation on improvisation, interdisciplinarity, and the liberal arts.
In addition to his trio project, Mark’s career as a jazz pianist includes the recordings with Le Monde Caché (a San Antonio-based jazz group that plays Brazilian, Afro-Latin and Jewish diasporic repertoire) and Celebrate Brooklyn II, a collaborative release with Canarian saxophonist Kike Perdomo. He has been active in the New York City jazz scene for the last dozen years as a musician, club manager, writer, and educator. Mark brings all this work together in his blog, “The Rhythm of Study” (rhythmofstudy.com), an open-access site that focuses on collaborative and interdisciplinary discussions of jazz and improvised music in the arts, academia, and activism.
Marshall Trammell and Kade Twist – Heritage Hall Research Group
Heritage Hall Research Group is a response to a call-to-action from the current board president of the Guelph Black Historical Society in support of Heritage Hall cultural center, an Underground Railroad site built by fugitive slaves in 1860, located at 83 Essex Street in Guelph, Ontario. HHRG is a recent partnership consisting of GBHS board members, Indigenous arts collective Postcommodity (New Mexico), members of Black Spirituals (SIGE: Oakland, CA) brought together from the People of Good Will project in 2015. HHRG presents “Simultaneous Multi-Dimensionality,” a performing-ethnomusicology and political education fighting formation led by Black Spirituals’ percussionist and Music Research Strategies founder Marshall Trammell. “Simultaneous Multi-Dimensionality” is a four-part, warrior ethos ritual of embedded in solo, duo, and collective Improvisation formations, featuring Kade Twist, of Postcommodity and Native Labs.
Retired art critic and participant in the “Music Matters” project.
Ron Grimes is co-editor of the Oxford Ritual Studies Series, Director of Ritual Studies International, and the author of several books on ritual, most recently The Craft of Ritual Studies. He has been a consultant on ritual and performance for the Sundance Institute Playwright’s Lab, the Cranbrook Institute of Science, and the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance. Ron directed “Ritual Creativity, Improvisation, and the Arts,” an audio-visual research project (https://vimeo.com/album/1524902) and has been a consultant or advisor on several documentary film series. Recently, Grimes has held the following positions: Marcel SwibodaChair of Ritual Studies at Radboud University, Nijmegen; Visiting Professor of Religious Studies at Charles University, Prague; Senior Researcher and Senior Lecturer at Yale University.
Dr. Tom Zlabinger is an Assistant Professor of Music at York College in New York, where he directs the York College Big Band and the York College Summer Jazz Program. Dr. Zlabinger holds a B.A. in music from Grinnell College and an M.A. in jazz performance from Queens College. He completed his Ph.D. in ethnomusicology at the CUNY Graduate Center and his dissertation was entitled FREE FROM JAZZ: The Jazz and Improvised Music Scene in Vienna after Ossiach (1971-2011). Dr. Zlabinger has primarily written about music and the depiction of musicians in and around various media franchises, such as The Big Lebowki, Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, The Simpsons, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Star Wars. Recently, he has also written about the process of decolonization in jazz and The Who’s performance at The Concert for New York City, in honor of the heroes and victims of 9/11. Additional scholarly interests include the pedagogy of improvisation and the music industry.