Besides his own writing and music, academic work and professional employment, Jeremy Stewart has undertaken a number of artistic projects over the years.
The 2023 edition of Casse-Tête: A Festival of Experimental Music consists of four free concerts in White Rock and Surrey, Canada. The international lineup features performances drawing on improvisation, free jazz, avant-garde compositions, minimalism, post-rock, noise, and more.
The original version of the festival operated from 2013-2017 in Prince George, Canada. Performers come from around Canada and beyond, along with the cutting edge of Prince George’s own scene. Find the festival profiled at allaboutjazz.com.
In recognition of his work as founding Artistic Director of Casse-Tête: A Festival of Experimental Music, in 2016, Stewart received the inaugural Barbara Pentland Award of Excellence honouring his “extraordinary contribution to Canadian music” from the Canadian Music Centre.
Other projects have included:
“Few musical events in local history can compare to the lineup that’s been assembled for Caledonia Sings, a tribute night to beloved singer-songwriter-playwright-performer Raghu Lokanathan.” – The Prince George Citizen
This concert was produced at the Prince George Playhouse, and featured performers including Naomi Kavka, Danny Bell, Patrick Kilcullen, and others performing songs by Raghu Lokanathan. The stage sets were designed and built by Eliza Houg.
Dreamland School of the Arts was the partnership of Stewart and his wife Erin Arding in creating a professional music school for all ages. From 2014-2017, the school was located at 4th and Queensway in Prince George; it was recognized in the Prince George Citizen as Prince George’s Best Music School in 2016. Teachers who taught at the school included Erika Callewaert, Danny Bell, Curtis Abriel, Naomi Kavka, Lisa Toon, and many other wonderful teachers.
Welcome to Debby’s, 2014
Welcome to Debby’s is an experimental performance piece devised and performed by Jeremy Stewart and Raghu Lokanathan. The performance takes the form of a conversation between Stewart and Lokanathan one night in Debby’s all-night truck stop diner—and all the dialogue is improvised. Stewart and Lokanathan performed Welcome to Debby’s four times, including once at the 2014 ArtsWells Festival of All Things Art, and once in the Prince George Denny’s restaurant, which was covered by CBC radio. Welcome to Debby’s is a show about friendship, conversation, and everything that can only happen once.
Publisher and Editor of 12 quarterly issues of a 40-48 page magazine featuring outstanding writers and artists from around the world, including Jordan Abel, Shazia Hafiz Ramji, Stephen Collis, Jacob Scheier, and others.
The Piano Drop, 2014
In the process of planning the second year of Casse-Tete: A Festival of Experimental Music, pianist and Registered Piano Technician Peter Stevenson suggested an idea to Stewart that immediately struck him as audacious and exciting: to drop a piano from the roof of the Exploration Place, the festival venue. Peter intended this gesture to give a ruined piano a last hurrah; Stewart saw it as an opportunity to engage the community with visceral, aesthetically challenging material.