IF 2023: 24-hour festival of improvised arts

GUELPH – The International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation (IICSI) at the University of Guelph announced the lineup for the fourth annual edition of their 24-hour festival of improvised arts: IF 2023. 

Taking place Oct. 21 and 22, 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.

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 spoken word artist Truth Is is  performing for the first time with drummer Marshall Trammell;

– Dancetheatre David Earle; 

– Pianist Marianne Trudel and percussionist John Hollenbeck; 

– Vocal improviser Rhiannon; and more.

The festival will also feature sound installations by Milo Tamez, Jerónimo Naranjo 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).

The full lineup can be viewed 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 and vulnerability. 

Free IF 2023 passes are available 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.