Under the visionary leadership of AJAY HEBLE, The Guelph Jazz Festival—winner of the 2010 Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, and a three-time recipient of the Lieutenant Governor’s Award of the Arts (1997, 2000, 2001)–has achieved an international reputation as one of the world’s most inspired and provocative musical events. As founding Artistic Director of the Festival, Heble has inspired an appreciation of improvised and avant-garde music and delighted aficionados from around the world with his innovative programming. Heble is also an accomplished pianist with a long background as a performer. His first CD, a live set of improvised music called Different Windows with percussionist Jesse Stewart, was released on the IntrepidEar label in 2001. Heble has also participated as a musician in concerts and recordings in support of a range of charitable organizations. He has performed with Pauline Oliveros, Eddie Prévost, Jane Bunnett, John Heward’s Murray Street Band, Lori Freedman, Scott Merritt, and many others. As a pianist, Heble’s recent recordings include Hold True (Accroche-Toi) and The Time of the Sign, both with his improvising quartet The Vertical Squirrels (on the Ambiances Magnétiques label).
Photo Credit: Trina Koster