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September 14, 2023 @ 12:00 am - September 16, 2023 @ 12:00 am

The 2023 Guelph Jazz Festival, 14-17 September, marks the 30th Anniversary year of the event, three decades animating the city with world-class live music performances by artists from the regional, national, and international fields of creative improvised music. We are proud to announce the key elements of this special event’s programming.

Highlights of the Ticketed Concert Series include Nicolas Caloia’s astounding Montreal-based 22-piece ensemble, the Ratchet Orchestra (15 Sept), featuring some of Canada’s finest improvising musicians –– Lori Freedman, Jean Derome, Josh Zubot, Tom Walsh, to name a few –– interpreting Caloia’s inspired and wide-ranging book of compositions. The UK/Swedish/French quartet [Ahmed] (14 Sept) –– Pat Thomas, Seymour Wright, Joel Grip, Antonin Gerbal –– will perform for the first time in North America. They employ the music and philosophy of the pioneering composer Ahmed Abdul-Malik as a lens through which to channel churning, vertiginous group improvisations that are, at once, conceptually rich and utterly visceral. Vancouver clarinettist and composer François Houle leads his GENERA Sextet (16 Sept), an international assembly including Benoît Delbecq, Marco von Orelli, Harris Eisenstadt, Michael Bates, and Samuel Blaser. They will perform the In Memoriam suite, dedicated to the memory of Ken Pickering, the founding Artistic Director of the Vancouver International Jazz Festival, and a special contributor to the field in Canada.

Virtuoso New York pianist Cory Smythe (16 Sept) will employ a range of mysterious electro-acoustic interventions to augment the piano as he presents the latest of his deep, set-length investigations of the enigmatic Jerome Kern/Otto Harbach standard, “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes.” The Lina Allemano Four (14 Sept) features the superb Berlin/Toronto based trumpeter’s group, with Brodie West, Nick Fraser, and Andrew Downing, that has extended the sound of classic Ornette Coleman Quartets to something wider-ranging and truly contemporary over its two-decade lifespan. The Susanna Hood Trio (15 Sept) features its leader, a singular singer/dancer from Montreal whose improvisations across these two disciplines are simply without peer. Her trio, with pianist Tania Gill and saxophonist Kayla Milmine, presents unPacked, their stunning version of Packet, a suite of songs by Steve Lacy setting emotionally packed feminist poems by Judith Malina. Vancouver violinist Josh Zubot leads his String Quintet (16 Sept), with Jesse Zubot, Meredith Bates, Peggy Lee, and James Meager, through his ingenious composing designed to activate the improvising resources of this superb West Coast band.

Learn about all the Ticketed Concert Series Artists here and Festival Schedule here; more artists to be announced in the weeks to come. Tickets and passes for the 2023 Guelph Jazz Festival go on sale on 12 July; more information here.

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