Music students to attend inaugural summer institute in improvisation

Three students from York University will attend the inaugural Summer Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation at the University of Guelph, from Aug. 25 to Sept. 7. Graduate students Peter Johnston, François Mouillot and Mark Zurawinski are all majoring in ethnomusicology at York. They’ll participate in the summer institute, which brings together an international group of scholars and graduate students to attend lectures and develop their research in the emerging field of improvisation studies.

Participants will present their research, through performances and other types of presentations, at the Guelph Jazz Festival Colloquium (Sept. 3-5).

Right: Robert O’Meally               

The institute will also present a series of keynote lectures by internationally respected scholars Robert O’Meally and Deborah Wong, exploring this year’s theme, "Envisioning Improvisation as Social Practice."

O’Meally is the Zora Neale Hurston Professor of English & Comparative Literature at Columbia University, where he founded The Center for Jazz Studies. A renowned ethnomusicologist, Wong teaches at the University of California, Riverside, and specializes in the musics of Asian America and Thailand.

Left: Deborah Wong

The Summer Institute is sponsored by Improvisation, Community & Social Practice, an international research project centred at the University of Guelph (in partnership with McGill University, the University of British Columbia and the University of Montreal) to explore musical improvisation as a model for social change.

The project is funded through the Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada’s Major Collaborative Research Initiatives  program.

Visit the the Summer Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation Web site for more information on the program.