Brent Hayes Edwards Announcing the Guelph Jazz Festival Colloquium

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

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 run September 12-15. 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Edwards will present his digital restoration of the legendary 16mm short film Sweet Willie Rollbar’s Orientation, originally made and scored by saxophonist Julius Hemphill in 1972.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 our 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.

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