In the small college town of Guelph less than an hour's drive west of Toronto
, a significant festival has occurred each September since 1994. Recently retired Artistic Director Ajay Heble prided himself on featuring the very best in improvised music, culling his program from the ranks of the best international purveyors of this music. By combining a colloquium of academic lectures on jazz with a top-notch performance agenda, the festival has gained a reputation as one of the best available. Using several centrally located venues that are easy to navigate, the festival fosters a feeling of goodwill and warmth with emphasis on community. And to expose the local citizens to this unsung art form, a weekend open-air series of over 15 performances starting on Friday afternoon and lasting all day Saturday is offered free of charge at City Hall. The September 2016 edition, Guelph's 23rd consecutive year, continued the tradition in excellence, featuring many 'names' in the creative music business to ensure its well-earned reputation remained intact.