Photo courtesy of Instigation Festival/Facebook

Instigation Fest Returns to New Orleans with Improv Music and Dance

The Instigation Festival, an event of improvised music and dance held annually in Chicago and New Orleans, will kick off this year at SideBar Nola on Tuesday, January 23.


The relatively new festival started in 2016 by guitarist Steve Marquette and producer Marie Casimir. Since its inception, Instigation Festival has brought together more than 50 artists, showcasing the rich diversity of talented musicians and performers in both the Windy City and Crescent City. Both founders of Instigation Festival have ties to Chicago. Casimir has performed at the Chicago Home Theater Festival and has worked at Links Hall for eight years, most recently serving as the Associate Director. Marquette is also an active member of Chicago’s jazz community, and performs in the Chicago-based acoustic group The Few. In addition to his work in Chicago, Marquette has collaborated extensively with musicians in New Orleans.

The festival spans all customary and unorthodox venues; while most shows will be held in nightclubs or bars, some may take place in community spaces, backyards and a number of large performance venues. After SideBar, the festival will visit The New Quorum, The Mint New Orleans Jazz Museum, finally ending at Music Box Village on Friday, January 26.

The goal of the event is to “bring together improvising musicians and movers for a week of collaboration.” The festival will be highlighting talents through a wide range of art. A complete schedule of this year’s Instigation Festival can be found on their website.