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Jesse Stewart is an award-winning artist, percussionist, composer, improviser, instrument builder, and writer dedicated to reimagining the boundaries between artistic disciplines.

As an artist, Stewart has exhibited audio-visual installation-based work in solo, group, and juried art exhibitions at a variety of private and public galleries in Canada and the United States. Three major solo exhibitions have resulted in the publication of catalogues about his work: Wheels of Time (2003) shown at the Macdonald Stewart Art Centre in Guelph; Waterworks (2005-6), shown at the Robert McLaughlin Gallery in Oshawa, the Glenhyrst Gallery of Brant in Brantford, and the Thames Gallery in Chatham; and Time Pieces (2011), shown at the Karsh Masson Gallery in Ottawa. In the summer of 2005, he contributed a performance and a sculptural work to a group show titled “Demons Stole My Soul: the Rock and Roll Drum Set in Contemporary Art” at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art in Toronto. He has also curated several exhibitions of visual art including exhibitions by Governor-General’s award-winning artists Gordon Monahan and David Rokeby.

As a musician, he works primarily in the areas of jazz, new music, and free improvisation. He has performed and/or recorded with many internationally acclaimed musicians including Michael Snow, George Lewis, Roswell Rudd, William Parker, Bill Dixon, Joe Mcphee, Maggie Nicols, David Mott, Evan Ziporyn, and many others. He has performed at music festivals across the country, in the United States, and Europe. His music has been documented on over 20 recordings. He was honoured with the 2012 “Instrumental Album of the Year” Juno award (the Canadian equivalent of a Grammy) for his work on the debut self-titled CD by Stretch Orchestra, a trio with guitarist Kevin Breit and cellist Matt Brubeck.

Much of his creative work crosses disciplinary boundaries, exploring the links between the visual and the sonic arts. For example, in the year 2000, he was commissioned by the Guelph Jazz Festival to create a ‘jazz opera’ entitled Passages with celebrated Canadian jazz poet Paul Haines and Governor General’s award-winning video artist David Rokeby. In 2011, he was commissioned by the City of Toronto and the National Capital Commission to design and built musical instruments out of ice.

After majoring in both visual art and in music as an undergraduate student at the University of Guelph, he went on to complete two Master of Arts degrees concurrently at York University in Toronto: one in ethnomusicology and another in music composition. His composition teachers included James Tenney and David Mott. In 2008, Stewart completed doctoral level studies at the University of Guelph where he was the first recipient of the Brock Doctoral Scholarship, the university's most prestigious graduate award.

He is now a professor in Carleton University’s School for Studies in Art and Culture and an adjunct professor in the Visual Arts program at the University of Ottawa.

In 2013, he was honoured with the Marston LaFrance Research Fellowship at Carleton University, the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences’ “senior award, intended for applicants with a very significant track record of outstanding research.” In 2014, he received a Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences “Teaching Achievement Award” in recognition of outstanding teaching.