Improvisor/guitarist Steve Marquette and dancer/producer Marie Casimir bring together an impressive group of musicians and dancer/performers for the third collaboration between the Instigation Orchestra and Djasporas for Instigation Festival September 6 – 10th, 2017 at multiple venues across Chicago and anchored at Constellation | Links Hall. The Instigation Festival is an annual fest of improvised music and dance in Chicago and New Orleans. This edition of the fest features more than 20 of the best improvisers from both cities, ranging from Chicago mainstays Saxophonist Ken Vandermark and electronic artist Damon Locks, strings/vocal Macie Stewart, Choreographer Onye Ozuzu and New Orleans powerhouses Trombonist Jeff Albert, Cellist Helen Gillet, and dancer/choreographer Maritza Mercado-Narcisse.

The immediate goal of the festival is to expand upon the ongoing exchange between Chicago and New Orleans creative communities through interdisciplinary performance.

Marquette and Casimr quietly launched this festival in Chicago in September 2016, testing out the model of two-city collaboration. After a solid week of work including a sold-out Constellation show they traveled with Chicago performers to New Orleans in early February of this year, receiving an equally warm reception from the Nola crowd.

Festival Details & Line Up:

Wednesday, September 6


Private workshop with Move Me Soul. Not Open to the Public.

Thursday, September 7

8:30pm (music & video)
Constellation, Chicago IL | 3111 N. Western

$10 ADV / $15 Doors


Charles Rumback Trio with special guest James Singleton

Helen Gillet / Damon Locks / Kim Alpert

Friday, September 8

6pm (dance & music)
Dorchester Art Housing Collaborative |1456 E 70th St



Project Tool led by Onye Ozuzu

Collaborators: Keyierra Collins, Keisha Bennett, Damon Locks, Jessica Marasa, and Anna Martine Whitehead

Within Project Tool, dancers explore, through the process of using hand held tools and legacy processes, the relationship between mind, body and tool. Through the research of building a wood, sprung dance floor, the dancers collaborate with tools as if they are partners in a dance with the body. The practical making of the space through sawing, hammering, sanding, and nailing has unearthed an improvisational landscape in which tasks, tools, and body inform and form the dance. Join us for a showing of work and process.

Friday, September 8

8:30pm (music)
Hungry Brain | 2319 W. Belmont

Suggested Donation $10/$15


redrawblak (Aurora Nealand / Paul Thibodeaux / Brad Walker)

Marker (Ken Vandermark / Andrew Clinkman / Steve Marquette / Macie Stewart / Phil Sudderberg)

Saturday, September 9
8:30pm (music & dance)
Constellation | Links Hall| 3111 N. Western

$15 ADV / $20 DOS Sat


Instigation Orchestra & Djasporas

Sunday, September 10

1 – 4PM

6018 North’s Water Music on the Beach in partnership with The Instigation Festival

Thorndale Beach



Water Music is a series of live performances responds to and highlights Chicago’s proximity to water. The compositions and scores – involving multiple performers and solo performances – reflect, react to, or personify the sounds of water. Artists TBA

Help us end the festival on the beautiful Chicago beach in the Edgwater neighborhood

Instigation Festival 2016

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The Instigation Orchestra with the Djasporas:

Instigation Orchestra
Jeff Albert (New Orleans) – trombone, Anton Hatwich – bass,
Helen Gillet (New Orleans) – cello, electronics, Ben LaMar Gay – cornet, Damon Locks – electronics
Steve Marquette – guitar, Aurora Nealand (New Orleans) – reeds, accordion, electronics, Avreeayl Ra – drums, James Singleton (New Orleans) – bass, pocket trumpet, Macie Stewart – violin, guitar
Paul Thibodeaux (New Orleans) – drums, Brad Walker (New Orleans) – saxophones

Marie Casimir – movement, Jeremy Guyton (New Orleans) – movement, Felicia Holman – movement
Chanice Holmes (New Orleans) – movement, Maritza Mercado-Narcisse (New Orleans) – movement
Jasmine Mendoza – movement, Cristal Sabbagh – movement, Nikki Noland – movement

Marie Casimir is a Haitian-American performer / curator / producer interested in the straddling of multiple cultures, languages, and responsibilities that exist within the body. Marie has performed at Links Hall, Constellation, Chicago Home Theater Festival, Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, Dance Union, and more. Marie served as Links Hall’s Associate Director until 2016, and was pleased to have worked with some of the most innovative performing artists for 7 years. Inspired by their work, and wanting to further cultivate her own art practice she launched Djaspora Productions in 2016. Djaspora Productions is a new company that bridges and celebrates the diverse human experience using arts and culture as a means to share, create, impact change and inspire others to act as global citizens in our own backyard and abroad.

Guitarist, improviser and organiser Steve Marquette (b.1987) is an active member of Chicago’s vibrant free jazz and improvised music communities. Marquette’s primary Chicago projects are the acoustic string trio The Few with violinist / vocalist Macie Stewart and bassist Charlie Kirchen and Ken Vandermark’s Marker. The Few has toured the U.S and released their debut recording on Marquette’s Two Cities record label in February 2017 and will tour the U.S and Europe in support of the record. In addition to his work in Chicago, he also collaborates extensively with musicians in New Orleans. To that end, Marquette started the large ensemble the Instigation Orchestra and helps organize the Instigation Festival in Chicago and New Orleans bringing together improvising musicians and movers for a week of collaboration.

The Instigation Festival is supported by The Driehaus Foundation, The New Quorum, Constellation, Links Hall and generous individuals.

Constellation is a venue on Chicago’s northwest side founded in April 2013 by drummer/composer Mike Reed. Constellation’s mission is to present progressive performance and forward-thinking

music with a focus on jazz, improvisation and contemporary classical. Filling a niche within Chicago’s arts community, the space is also a collaborative partnership with the venerable performing arts organization Links Hall.

Links Hall encourages artistic innovation and public engagement by maintaining a facility and providing flexible programming for the research, development, and presentation of new work in the performing arts.