Initiated by Paul Hoskin in 1986 [or was it ’85?], the Seattle Improvised Music Festival is believed to be the longest continuously running festival of its kind in North America. SIMF has persisted under the changing leadership of many different people over the years, reflecting their personal interests, relationships, and musical shifts within the improvised music community locally and internationally.
This site serves as the main source of info on current and future festivals and as an archive for past editions. It was initially compiled by Steve Peters (with design assistance from Yann Novak) and launched in 2021.
Primary sources used to create the archive are Dennis Rea’s original history and timeline of the festival (1985-2002); a slightly different version of that history exhumed by Dave Knott (1985-2012); the web site created by Gust Burns for the now defunct non-profit org Seattle Improvised Music (2010-14); posters, programs, press releases, audio and video recordings from private collections; newspaper and magazine articles; interviews and correspondence with past participants.
Unsurprisingly, some of these sources may occasionally conflict with one another. More recordings, photos, documents, and written memories will be added as they emerge. Contributions of such materials are enthusiastically encouraged, as are corrections of inaccurate information.
The recordings presented on this site are included for historical purposes, to document the evolution of this festival. They are not for sale, and there is no financial gain involved. Given the many artists represented, it would have been an overwhelming task to try to contact everyone for permission to include their recorded performances. Therefore, they have been included with the best of intentions. If an artist objects to having their performance posted here, we will gladly remove it upon request.