Guelph at 20: How a Simple Idea Evolved into One of the Most Distinctive of Jazz Fests

Jean Derome performing at the Guelph Jazz Festival
Jean Derome performing at the Guelph Jazz Festival (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From The Globe and Mail:

In 1993, when Ajay Heble first decided to mount a jazz festival in Guelph, Ont., where he was a newly arrived English professor at the university, he had a fairly simple idea. “What I wanted to do was to feature artists that you wouldn’t get to hear on the stages at the other festivals,” he recalls. “There were plenty of opportunities for more mainstream artists across Canada, but fewer opportunities for artists playing experimental and avant-garde jazz and improvised music.”

Newsbits: Eyal Moaz in Brooklyn / Guelph Preview / Ryan Muncy Release / Soundcorridors Event in New York / New York Show at Five Myles Art Gallery

Violinist Jason Kao Hwang performing on 18 Nov...

The Praxis String Quartet and Edom Present: The Music of Eyal Maoz, September 13, 2013 at 8 PM, at Launchpad, 721 Franklin Avenue, Brooklyn NY.

This weekend’s Guelph Jazz Festival is previewed.

On Sunday September 22nd, Ryan Muncy, saxophonist of Ensemble Dal Niente, will be performing a free solo concert celebrating the release of his forthcoming solo album HOT. The program will feature three works from his album – Chaya Czernowin‘s The Last Leaf, a rare work for solo sopranino saxophone, Chicago composer Anthony Cheung’s Refrain from Riffing for alto saxophone and detuned harp, and Aaron Cassidy‘s impossibly virtuosic Asphyxia for solo soprano saxophone. The program also features Andrea Agostini’s gli atomi…, and Giacinto Scelsi‘s Tre Pezzi, a hugely important contribution to the saxophone repertoire and predecessor of his major works of the late 1950s and 60s. The album is due to be officially released on October 1st (digital) and October 29th (physical), but advanced physical copies will be available on September 22nd at the concert.

SOUNDCORRIDORS is a series of sound events exploring non-traditional interactions between sound and space. Set in architecturally and acoustically unique spaces, the series invites sound artists and composers to generate new work to activate the peculiarities of each performance environment. At the heart of SOUNDCORRIDORS is a multi-channel sound system, meticulously placed to turn the entirety of the 25,000 sq ft Knockdown Center into a singular instrument. A day long event, the audience is invited to wander freely, choosing their own sonic and spatial narrative. Featured are: Ashcan Orchestra, Leila Bordreuil, Sabisha Freidberg, Richard Garet, Alfredo Marin, Miya Masaoka, Doron Sadja, Tristan Shepherd.

At Five Myles Art Gallery, 558 St. Johns Pl, Brooklyn, on September 7 & 8 – 6 pm to 9 pm, and Monday September 9 – 1pm to 2 pm, a live performance will include Rob Brown: Saxophone, Jason Kao Hwang: Viola, Jeanine Wynton: Violin, Julia K Wilkins: Dance, Patricia Nicholson: Dance, Kamau Patton: Sound, Yuko Otomo / Steve Dalachinsky: Poetry.

Jazz Listings From The New York Times


Harris Eisenstadt’s Golden State (Thursday) A venturesome drummer and composer, Mr. Eisenstadt likes to walk the line between free-form exploration and meticulous composition, and this texture-rich new ensemble — with the flutist Nicole Mitchell, the bassoonist Sara Schoenbeck and the bassist Mark Dresser — should suit that purpose handily. (Mr. Dresser will perform an improvised solo set at 7:30 p.m..) At 8:15 p.m., Greenwich House Music School, 46 Barrow Street, West Village, (212) 242-4770;; $15, $10 for students. (Chinen)

Orrin Evans (Friday through Sunday) The pianist Orrin Evans often works in combustible settings, but the title of his new album, “… It Was Beauty” (Criss Cross), signals a subtle shift in intention. He revisits that premise with two different groups this weekend, starting on Friday with a trio featuring the drummer Karriem Riggins and the bassist Eric Revis. On Saturday and Sunday he leads a quintet with Mr. Revis, the trumpeter Ralph Alessi, the alto saxophonist Greg Osby and the drummer Donald Edwards. At 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., with an 11:30 p.m. set on Friday and Saturday, Jazz Standard, 116 East 27th Street, Manhattan, (212) 576-2232,; $25 and $30. (Chinen)

Peter Evans at the Stone (Tuesday through Sept. 15) Peter Evans is a trumpeter with a dizzying command of timbre and texture, and he isn’t afraid to clobber you with it. His residency at the Stone next week will include solo manifestoes (Tuesday at 8 p.m.); electropunk improv with the collective trio called Pulverize the Sound (Wednesday at 8 p.m.); slashing duologue with a fellow trumpeter, Joe McPhee (Thursday at 8 p.m.); and the intrepid fire of his Zebulon Trio, with the drummer Kassa Overall and the bassist John Hébert (Thursday at 10 p.m.). At 8 and 10 p.m., Avenue C and Second Street, East Village,; $15 for each set, $10 for students. (Chinen)

Festival of New Trumpet Music (Tuesday through Oct. 2) This annual hornucopia founded by Dave Douglas kicks off on Tuesday at Roulette in Brooklyn, with a pair of new works by the experimental classical composer Christian Wolff and the free-bop trumpeter Roy Campbell Jr. Happening in the same space on Wednesday is the New York premiere of a piece for 52 trumpets by the composer Henry Brant; the preview performance of a piece by John Zorn; and a posthumous tribute to the trumpeter and pioneering conductor Butch Morris. A full schedule is at At 8 p.m., Roulette, 509 Atlantic Avenue, near Third Avenue, Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, (917) 267-0363,,; $20, $15 for students. (Chinen)

Tomas Fujiwara Trio (Wednesday) A drummer working along jazz’s experimental fringe, Mr. Fujiwara favors a mode of playing that’s forward-leaning but rarely blunt or aggressive, and never random. He works here in an exploratory trio featuring the trumpeter Ralph Alessi and the guitarist Brandon Seabrook. At 8 p.m., Barbès, 376 Ninth Street, at Sixth Avenue, Park Slope, Brooklyn, (347) 422-0248,; $10 cover. (Chinen)

Larry Ochs at the Stone (Friday through Sunday) The tenor and soprano saxophonist Larry Ochs is probably best known for his founding role in the Rova Saxophone Quartet, a new-music ensemble with more than 30 years of performing experience. He concludes his residency at the Stone this weekend. At 8 and 10 p.m., Avenue C and Second Street, East Village,; $15 for each set, $10 for students. (Chinen)

Marc Ribot/Matana Roberts / Cian Nugent (Thursday) As part of the 10-year anniversary celebration for Issue Project Room, each of these affiliated artists offers a small-scale but boundary-erasing performance. Mr. Ribot, the guitarist, will perform unaccompanied, though it’s entirely possible he’ll find grounds for collaboration with Ms. Roberts, an alto saxophonist, and Mr. Nugent, another guitarist. At 8 p.m., Issue Project Room, 22 Boerum Place, at Livingston Street, Downtown Brooklyn, (718) 330-0313,; $15, $12 for members and students. (Chinen)

Sex Mob Residency (Thursday through Sept. 14) Sex Mob, the rugged and irreverent quartet led by the slide trumpeter Steven Bernstein — also with Briggan Krauss on alto saxophone, Tony Scherr on bass and Kenny Wollesen on drums — will play three nights at ShapeShifter Lab next week, pairing with a different opening act each night. On Thursday it will be Cuddle Magic, a songwriting collective in Brooklyn. At 8:15 and 9:30 p.m., ShapeShifter Lab, 18 Whitwell Place, Park Slope, Brooklyn,; $15 each day; three-day pass, $30; $12 for students. (Chinen)

Trio M (Friday) The pianist Myra Melford, the bassist Mark Dresser and the drummer Matt Wilson usually make up Trio M, a collective with a clear bead on the free jazz legacy of the 1960s. For this one-nighter, Michael Sarin fills in for Mr. Wilson. At 8 and 10 p.m., Jazz at Kitano, 66 Park Avenue at 38th Street, (212) 885-7119,; $25 cover, with a $15 minimum. (Chinen)

Classical Music Listings From The New York Times


Dedalus Ensemble (Monday) Since its founding in 1996, this French instrumental cooperative, now based in Montpellier, has championed Anglo-Saxon experimental and Minimalist music by composers like John Cage, Harry Partch, Cornelius Cardew and Christian Wolff. Surprising, then, that this performance of recent works by nine New York-based composers marks the ensemble’s debut appearance in the United States. At 8 p.m., Roulette, 509 Atlantic Avenue, near Third Avenue, Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, (917) 267-0368,; $15, or $10 students and 65+. (da Fonseca-Wollheim)

Festival of New Trumpet Music (Tuesday and Wednesday) This three-week immersion in recent writing for the instrument begins with two concerts at Roulette. Music of Christian Wolff dominates Tuesday’s show, including a new Octet for Brass and Violin, as well as the premiere of a work from the Roy Campbell Jr. Akhenaten Large Ensemble. Wednesday brings John Zorn’s new “Antiphonal Fanfare” for six trumpets, a tribute to the pioneering jazz artist Butch Morris and Henry Brant’s “Flight Over a Global Map” for 52 trumpets and percussion. At 8 p.m., Roulette, 509 Atlantic Avenue, Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, (917) 267-0363,; $20, or $15 students. (Woolfe)

Nicole Mitchell Explores the Story of Her Mother, Through Music


Virtuoso flutist Nicole Mitchell was a key player in Chicago music for more than two decades until she moved to California in 2011 to accept a teaching position, but the city keeps luring her back. This weekend, for instance, Mitchell will return here to present the world premiere of a project that is particularly close to her: “JBM: Images Beyond.” The initials stand for Joan Beard Mitchell, the flutist’s mother, an artist and poet who died 30 years ago at age 50 and left an enormous impression on her gifted daughter. “JBM: Images Beyond” explores Joan Beard Mitchell’s remarkable and often heart-breaking story, but in a novel way: It’s billed as “a theatrical concert” that will feature a dramatic reading by actor/vocalist Coco Elysses alongside Mitchell’s Black Earth Strings.

Ensemble dal Niente play Thomalla and Stockhausen in Chicago

English: Karlheinz Stockhausen in March 2005. ...
English: Karlheinz Stockhausen in March 2005. (Photo: Kathinka Pasveer) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From the Bleader:

I’m particularly excited about one of the evening performances, a bracing program by Chicago’s fearless Ensemble dal Niente that I, unfortunately, cannot attend. The group will perform The Brightest Form of Absence, a 2011 work by the German composer Hans Thomalla—who’s taught at Northwestern University since 2007—that is organized around audio and video footage recorded in the Mojave Desert and Death Valley. Those recordings include strictly environment sounds—wind noises, crickets, the distant cry of railway brakes, as well as sounds produced by objects activated by collaborator William Lamson, such as a bottle being dragged through the sand or a flung rock falling to the ground. Also on the program is Kontakte by Karlheinz Stockhausen, an important early work for percussion, piano, and electronics from 1969-’70 (a separate version of the same name was composed exclusively for four-channel electronics).