Valentine’s Day weekend marked the second annual Seattle Women in Jazz Festival, and once again, founder Jessica Davis put on a wonderful community-building event. It was the first of three similar festivals scheduled to take place this spring. This “mini-season” of women in jazz fests has gotten me thinking again about festivals dedicated to female performers. Do we still need them? Do they help or hurt the larger cause of women trying to make it in the male-dominated world of jazz? Which leads to the larger, most pressing question: How do we cultivate more female talent and build audiences for their concerts?Read More
Today is International Jazz Day (I’m throwing virtual confetti as I write this), and that means that Jazz Appreciation Month is almost over. It’s been a busy, jazz-filled month, and once again, I’ve been reminded how lucky I am to live in Seattle. Not only do we have an amazing scene, we have an amazing scene with dozens of incredibly talented women. Many of whom performed during last weekend’s first-ever Seattle Women in Jazz Festival. This was a wonderful event, a true act of love and devotion by its founder Jessica Davis.
That said, jazz festivals devoted solely to women have their pros and cons. Celebrations of women and their accomplishments are, on the whole, a good thing. As is bringing a greater awareness to the hardworking women amongst us. But they also risk marginalizing these same women. It’s far too easy to dismissively say (or think), “Oh, she’s just a ‘woman in jazz,’” then go hear your favorite male musician instead.Read More
In today’s JazzApril posting, I’d like to tell you more about the inaugural Seattle Women in Jazz Festival taking place April 26-28. It’s the first festival of its kind here in Seattle and will feature fourteen vocalists, nine instrumentalists, and two big bands. They will perform at Egan’s Ballard Jam House, Rainier Valley Cultural Center, the Triple Door, Vera Project, and LUCID Lounge. And as the fest’s name suggests, all groups are led by or comprised primarily of women.Read More
April is already a week old, and I neglected to mention that it is Jazz Appreciation Month! I don’t really need another reason to celebrate anything and everything jazz, but JAM reminds me to take a moment to think about jazz, its history, and enduring legacy. And it reminds me that, as a lover of jazz, I am very lucky to live in Seattle. We have an unusually vibrant community of jazz musicians, students, and listeners plus a network of clubs, house concerts, festivals, jazz appreciation societies, record labels, and radio stations that all nurture our local scene. We can hear high-quality, live jazz every night of the week.Read More