Brent Hayes Edwards Guelph Jazz Festival Colloquium 2018

Hovering at the Edge: Words, Music, Sound, and Song 

Guelph, Ontario, Canada
September 12-15, 2018

Jump to schedule.
Jump to presenter abstracts and bios.

Hovering at the Edge: Words, Music, Sound, and Song is the theme of this year’s Guelph Jazz Festival Colloquium. Hosted by IICSI in partnership with the Guelph Jazz Festival, the University of Guelph, and the Art Gallery of Guelph, the Colloquium will feature curated panels, speakers, and performances, with participants riffing on the interplay among words, music, sound, and song.

In his book Epistrophies: Jazz and the Literary Imagination, keynote speaker Brent Hayes Edwards attests to the vibrant and compelling history of interplay in African American art-making and performance between sound and writing. Drawing specifically on transmedial encounters in jazz that “[hover] at the edge” of language, and literary texts that aspire to the condition of music, Edwards explores the ways in which “the practice of one medium can be inspired, provoked, or extended by an attention to the specificities of another.” 

Edwards will present his digital restoration of the legendary 16mm short film Sweet Willie Rollbar’s Orientation, originally made and scored by saxophonist Julius Hemphill in 1972. The film also features poet K. Curtis Lyle, actor Malinke Elliott, and other members of the Black Artists’ Group of St. Louis. Following the screening, Edwards will contextualize the film among the Black Artists’ Group and in relation to other black experiments in multimedia aesthetics in the early 1970s.

Emerging Scholars Program

Inspired by an initiative developed by our friends and colleagues at the ArtsEverywhere Festival, and in partnership with the University of Guelph, the Colloquium invites students and community members to join our inaugural Emerging Scholars Program. This program offers up to ten individuals (from all levels of study) an opportunity to participate in the program and engage with participants.

Selected scholars will receive tickets to Guelph Jazz Festival performances, an intimate 2-hour “emerging scholars breakfast” with panelists, presenters, and other distinguished guests including Lawrence Hill, and an opportunity to publish insights gained at the Festival and Colloquium on the IICSI website.

Emerging scholars will be expected to attend colloquium events and write a short reflection piece on their experience. Please complete the online form if you’re interested in joining this program.


Wednesday, September 12

9:30 pm | Post-Concert Talk Back
Rory Magill, Christine Duncan, and Rainbow Chorus (Ontario)
Guelph Little Theatre

Thursday, September 13

12:00 pm | Concert – Co-presented by the College of Arts
Thursday at Noon (TAN) Concert: Augustí Fernández (Spain)
Goldschmidt Room (Room 107), MacKinnon Building, University of Guelph

2:00 pm | Roundtable
Kevin McNeilly (University of British Columbia), Sara Villa (John Abbott College), Rob Wallace (Northern Arizona University), Paul Watkins (Vancouver Island University)
Silence, 46 Essex St.

3:30 pm | Panel
Jazz Poetry
Vilde Aaslid (University of Rhode Island) – With Urgent Words: Political Poetry and Jazz in 2018
Meta DuEwa Jones (Howard University)
Silence, 46 Essex St.

5:00 pm | Reception and Exhibition Launch
Performance by Douglas R. Ewart & Rita Warford (USA)
10C, 42 Carden St.

Friday, September 14

9:00 | Interview – Co-presented with the Eden Mills Writer’s Festival
Dionne Brand (University of Guelph) interviewed by Winston Smith (Seneca College)
Lecture Room, Art Gallery of Guelph

10:30 | Keynote
Brent Hayes Edwards (Columbia University)
Lecture Room, Art Gallery of Guelph

Noon | Concert – Co-presented by the Central Student Association
CSA Noon-Hour Concert: Thanya Iyer (Québec)
Branion Plaza, University of Guelph

1:30 | Concert
Bernard Falaise (40 min. solo – Québec) / Konk Pack (50 min. – UK/Germany)
Silence, 46 Essex St. 

4:00 | Artist Panel 
Darius Jones (USA), Emilie Lesbros (France), Amirtha Kidambi (USA), & Thanya Iyer (Québec)

Moderator: Kevin McNeilly
Silence, 46 Essex. St.

5:30 | Concert
Darius Jones & Amirtha Kidambi (USA)
Silence, 46 Essex. St.

Saturday, September 15

7:00 | Pre-concert Talkback
Jean Derome & Karen Young (Québec)
Guelph Youth Music Centre, 75 Cardigan St.

All events are free and open to the public.

This colloquium is generously sponsored by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), the Art Gallery of Guelph, the Office of the Vice-President, Research, the Office of the Associate Vice-President, Student Affairs, the School of English and Theatre Studies, the College of Arts, CFRU-FM, and the Central Student Association at the University of Guelph. Special thanks also to the Eden Mills Writers’ Festival and the Guelph Film Festival for their support.