International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation Colloquium

With the International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation (IICSI) at the University of British Columbia, and in partnership with Coastal Jazz and Blues Society, Western Front is pleased to co-present the annual IICSI colloquium as a free online event during the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival.

This online colloquium offers listeners a chance to hear from musicians describing, in their own words, their creative practice. How does an artist approach their improvisations as a soloist? What are the different sonic environments that an artist listens for when alone, or on stage with other musicians? How can musicians use the pulpit and sanctity of the stage and its relation with audiences to speak out powerfully against injustice?

Free to attend, hosted on Zoom. Audiences are warmly invited to sign up to each talk via the links below.

Kevin McNeilly 1:30 p.m. PDT 
Fay Victor 3:00 p.m. PDT
Darius Jones 4:30 p.m. PDT

This project is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Biographies

Kevin McNeilly is an Associate Professor in the Department of English Language and Literatures at the University of British Columbia, a researcher with the International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation, and a co-editor of the peer-reviewed journal Critical Studies in Improvisation/ Études critiques en improvisation. His book of poems about early jazz trumpet players, Embouchure, is published by Nightwood Editions. Audio, video, and more can be found through his websites, kevinmcneilly.ca and kevinmcneilly.com, or on his Bandcamp page, kevinmcneilly.bandcamp.com.

Fay Victor hones a unique vision for the vocalist’s role in jazz and improvised music. As a sound artist and composer, Victor’s “everything is everything” aesthetic encompasses a distinctive approach to vocalizing and performing, with a foundation in the jazz vocal idiom incorporating globe-spanning references. Her workshop, as part of the annual International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation colloquium, is sure to be a fascinating look into the process of a unique voice.

Darius Jones has been called “the most visceral and distinctive alto saxophonist of this era” by The New York Times. His incisive work on alto sax “poses big questions about the relationship between the African-American tradition of spirituals, blues and gospel, and now” (The Wire). His workshop, as part of the annual International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation colloquium, will offer a window into a concept that is “proudly his own” (The Wire).