New Books, New Faces, New Sounds: the Guelph Jazz Festival Colloquium
The 2019 Guelph Jazz Festival Colloquium: Improvising Instruments took place from September 11-14. The Colloquium kicked off at the Arboretum Centre on Wednesday night with a keynote address by David Rothenberg, who spoke about his music / book / film project, Nightingales in Berlin.
Thursday morning at Silence saw a series of talks and presentations. The morning began with a talk on unusual and rare instruments and their makers with Jesse Stewart and special guest Frédéric Bousquet that included the unveiling of Stewart’s euphone, custom built and delivered by Bousquet!
Frédéric Bousquet (euphone) and Jesse Stewart (handpan) Improvising the 2019 Guelph Jazz Festival Colloquium.It was followed by Lee Blalock’s performative artist talk Instr/Augmented Bodies, and a solo concert by keynote presenter and interspecies musician David Rothenberg.
The third day began with a launch / celebration of two new books. From Chicago, multidisciplinary artist Douglas R. Ewart was on hand, along with editor Ajay Heble, to launch Stories of Impact: Douglas R. Ewart’s Crepuscule (IICSI and PS Guelph, 2019). This document and discussion of the community-engaged performance of Ewart’s ongoing project Crepuscule includes statements by—and a conversation between—the artist and editor, as well as pieces by Ed Sarath, Michael Collins, and Jeannette Hicks & Brian Lefresne.
Visiting from the University of Groningen was improvising vocalist Chris Tonelli, to celebrate his upcoming book Voices Found: Free Jazz and Singing (to be published by Routledge later this fall). Dr. Tonelli gave a quick history of the improvising vocalist, including the surprising ways in which unconventional vocal sounds can be perceived by listeners. The session concluded with an improvisation by Tonelli’s voice / body and Ewart’s didgeridoo, with percussive assistance from IICSI research assistant and Ewart’s Crepuscule project assistant Jeannette Hicks.
Friday morning’s book launch was followed by a turntablism workshop, led by Niel Scobie and Alyssa Woods, as well as the CSA co-presented concert by Eighth Street Orchestra at UofG’s Branion Plaza. The Colloquium also included artist talk-backs with Jen Shyu, Ben Grossman, chik white, and Susan Alcorn.
Thank you to all the presenters, sponsors, and attendees for helping to make the 2019 Guelph Jazz Festival Colloquium a success!
Photos by Richelle Forsey