Graphic for IF 2023: Restless Imagination, Improvising the New Normal, featuring the artist lineup and sponsor images. Vijay Iyer & Wadada Leo Smith: A Cosmic Rhythm with Each Stroke; Jesse Stewart & Douglas R. Ewart; Dancetheatre David Earle; Milo Tamez and Jerónimo Naranjo: Batería Suspendida; Marianne Trudel & John Hollenbeck: Dédé Java Espiritu; Endahl/Finley/Fraser/Robinson; Marshall Trammell & Truth Is...; Ed Sarath; Rhiannon: Swimming in the Vocal River; Judith Thompson & jashen edwards; Mali Obomsawin Quartet; with additional contributions from our partners: Sonic Arts Research Centre (Queen's University Belfast); the Guelph Comedy Festival; Audiopollination; LASALLE College of the Arts (Singapore); Wavelength Music; Hillside Festival; UC Pogramming, University of Guelph; Upstream Music Association, and more. October 20-21. 24 hours. IICSI Announces Lineup for IF 2023: 24-hour Festival of Improvised Arts

Guelph’s Improvisation Institute Announces Lineup for IF 2023: 24-hour Festival of Improvised Arts

Vijay Iyer and Wadada Leo Smith: A Cosmic Rhythm with Each Stroke, Mali Obomsawin 4tet among musical acts performing at this improvised arts festival on October 20–21 in-person at University of Guelph and online.

The International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation (IICSI) at the University of Guelph is thrilled to announce the lineup for the fourth annual edition of their 24-hour festival of improvised arts: IF 2023. Taking place October 21–22, 2023, this free festival will feature improvised performances in Guelph’s newest state-of-the-art performance space, ImprovLab, as well as shows and installations in other venues across U of G campus and online through an all-night digital stream.

IF 2023 will feature world-renowned artists across all disciplines, including jazz legends Vijay Iyer and Wadada Leo Smith; acclaimed bassist/singer Mali Obomsawin performing with her quartet; visionary instrument builder and improvisational polymath Douglas R. Ewart with Juno award-winning percussionist Jesse Stewart; two-time Governor General’s award-winning playwright Judith Thompson with trumpeter jashen edwards; Guelph’s  spoken word artist Truth Is … performing in a world premiere context with drummer Marshall Trammell; Dancetheatre David Earle; pianist Marianne Trudel and percussionist John Hollenbeck; vocal improviser Rhiannon; and much more.

View the full IF 2023 lineup on our website.

The festival will also feature sound installations by Milo Tamez and Jerónimo Naranjo (Batería Suspendida, as seen in this clip) and Jesse Stewart, as well as special contributions from our partners around the globe, including LASALLE College of the Arts (Singapore) and Sonic Arts Research Centre (N. Ireland). You can view the full lineup on the IF 2023 website.

Curated by IICSI Director Dr. Ajay Heble (Founder and former Artistic Director of the Guelph Jazz Festival and 2023 Killam Prize winner) and centred on the theme Restless Imagination: Improvising the New Normal, IF 2023 will showcase legendary and emerging improvisational performers mixing skill, vulnerability, and daring to make meaning out of this moment. As Heble says, this event “marks our Institute’s return to a full program of in-person improvised performances, Moreover, this year’s Festival also coincides with the launch of our brand new, state-of-the-art, performance and research facility, ImprovLab. I can’t wait for audiences to see and to hear events in this beautiful new space.”

Free IF 2023 passes are available now via Eventbrite. While the festival is completely free and open to all, attendees are encouraged to reserve a free pass as some festival performances will have limited space.

IF 2023 will dovetail with two other events at the University of Guelph: an exhibition showcasing and celebrating 15 years of research findings (installed in Massey Hall at the University of Guelph and open to the public, Oct. 16–22) and the Sound Meaning Education academic conference, CONVERSATIONS & improvisations (Oct. 20­–22).

For IF 2023 updates, follow IICSI’s social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter), subscribe to the Institute’s newsletter, and visit the Festival website.

IF 2023 is presented by IICSI, with support from Musagetes, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), the Art Gallery of Guelph, CFRU 93.3FM, the College of Arts at the University of Guelph, and Lost Aviator Coffee.

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