One of the unique cornerstones of the Guelph Jazz Festival is the academic study of improvisation, through its connection to the International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation, largely centered at the University of Guelph. We had a chance to visit the Guelph Jazz Festival Colloquium this month, where we dropped in on a morning concert (Jesse Stewart and Dong-Won Kim) and then one of the many panel discussions. The three-day Colloquium is a free part of the Festival and open to the public, in the beautiful spaces of the MacDonald Stewart Art Gallery at the corner of College and Gordon, in Guelph. The panel discussion (Jazz Beyond Humanity) ran the spectrum from Human-Equine Improvisation to the Extra-Normal Voice in Jazz to Visions of Jazz Automatons. The knowledgeable audience had no shortage of questions for all the panelists and in many cases, suggested more resources and lines of inquiry for the researchers to follow. It’s a unique platform for researchers to meet the public and for jazz musicians to follow the latest research in critical practice.
To find out about past and future GJF’s, you can look at http://www.guelphjazzfestival.com/