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Jesse McMann-Sparvier is an emerging musician, contemporary dancer and choreographer. She is a classically trained flutist, graduating in April 2016 with her Bachelor of Music from the University of Calgary. Her research focus has been contemporary music, and improvisation. She studied for two years in the Jazz Studies program at the University of Manitoba, studying Jazz Flute. She can contribute as a soloist, or as an ensemble performer/side musician in Jazz, Classical, Indie, Funk, and many other styles. Her new compositions in music have started to explore / create contemporary soundscapes steeped in Indigeneity to accompany spoken words that process our presence interlaced with indigenous identity and the body as politics. She uses a wide variety of modern, unusual and traditional instruments to create exciting new sounds. 

As a dance/choreographer she grounded firmly in the traditional teachings of Blackfoot and Cree culture. She has been dancing fancy shawl and hoop dance for 15 years, having many performance opportunities and touring experiences. Drawing from personal experience, Cree and Blackfoot language, and the ultimate web of relationships from a macro to micro level guide her current contemporary dance work.

These relationships are between our environments, and all that exists within those environments from a macro to a micro level. I seek to use philosophies from powwow dance forms, elder knowledge and nehiyawewin/nitsitapiitsinii in the choreographic process to create works that speak on many levels to all audiences. One of these philosophies is to live fully in the body and to be in movement. From this is a platform for creation that allows for infinite experiences in performance and creation.”

Her work has been shown at the Talking Stick Festival (Vancouver 2012, 2013) Kooteny Cultural Festival (2012, 2015, 2016) Fairy Tales Film Festival (2012), ASTAM; Cree Festival (2012), Wey Ya Ha Ni Nah (2011,2012, 2014) Vancouver Queer Film Festival (2011), Q the Arts Festival (2011) 7a*11d (2010). She has also toured in Sweden, Netherlands, and Belgium. She has created soundtracks for the ITWE Collective, and was a guest musician fort the Czarkologie Ensemble. She currently performs with the University of Calgary New Music Ensemble and UCalgary Jazz Orchestra.

Photo Credit: Tet M Photography (Calgary Alberta)