The Instigation Festival is an annual fest of improvised music and dance in Chicago and New Orleans. Started in 2016 by Improvisor / Guitarist, Steve Marquette, and Mover / Producer, Marie Casimir, the fest has brought together more than 50 artists to-date, highlighting the rich diversity of talented improvisers in both cities. The festival happens in Jazz and nightclubs, bars, community spaces, backyards and larger performance venues.

Marie Casimir

C0-Founder & Producer of The Instigation Festival
A Haitian-American performer/ curator/producer. Marie has performed at Links Hall, Constellation, Chicago Home Theater Festival,
Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, Dance Union, and more. She worked at Links Hall (Chicago) for 8 years, most recently serving as the Associate Director. In 2016 she launched Djaspora Productions,  a company that bridges and celebrates the diverse human experience
using arts and culture as a means o share, create, impact change and inspires others to act as global citizens in our own backyard and abroad.
Marie teaches at The University of Oklahoma in African and African American Department.


Steve Marquette

C0-Founder & Producer of The Instigation Festival
Guitarist, improviser and organizer 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 InstigationOrchestra and helps organize the Instigation Festival in Chicago and New Orleans bringing together improvising musicians and movers for a week of collaboration.


· Collaborators ·

· The Instigation Orchestra & The Djasporas ·

Jeff Albert
Ben Lamar Gay
Helen Gillet
Jeremy Guyton
Anton Hatwich
Felicia Holman
Chanice Holmes
Katinka Kleijn
Lia Kohl
Damon Locks
Aurora Neeland
Avreeayl Ra
James Singleton
Paul Thibodeaux
Meida McNeal
Maritza Mercado-Narcisse
Jasmine Mendoza
Onye Ozuzu
Cristal Sabbagh
Mars Williams
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