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Guelph Jazzfest's community-built concert reaches new heights

A young musician plays his part in Scheherazade with verve ©Brett Delmage, 2013

View photos of Friendly Rich's Scheherazade

It was a Guelph Jazz Festival performance of epic proportions.

Friendly Rich Marsella brought together 1001 Arabian Nights, more than 17 musicians, kids of all abilities, a church full of listeners, some uncommon instruments, musical theatre, and balloons. He put a new face and sound on Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade for the symphony's 125 birthday and the Guelph Jazz Festival's 20th anniversary.

The spectacle was the highlight of a summer of rehearsals and instrument-building driven by Marsella's work as Improviser-in-Residence at Musagetes/Improvisation, Community and Social Practice (ICASP), the close academic partner of the festival.

Friendly Rich's Scheherazade again demonstrated the wonderful performances that can be created by enthusiastic professional and amateur artists of all ages and abilities working together, motivated by the festival's core commitment to community engagement.

The free noon-time concert on September 7 filled the sanctuary of St. George's, one of the largest churches in Guelph, right up to its vaulted ceiling, and kept listeners listening, laughing, and totally engaged with music and theatre designed for all ages.

   – Brett Delmage

View photos of Friendly Rich's Scheherazade

Read more about the 2013 Guelph Jazz Festival:


All photos ©2013 Brett Delmage