• Women in Jazz Media Hardship Support Project

    14th April 2021

    Working in the Jazz industry is a struggle for us all, especially since COVID19. We at Women in Jazz Media have been working hard to support female/female identifying artists across the world in many ways and we continue to develop and grow the ways we can support. We are very happy to announce a new initiative led by Monika S. Jakubowska.

    • Free photo shoots for female Jazz artists who are experiencing financial hardship.

    Monika S. Jakubowska is a renowned photographer, with work published in many publications including The Guardian, The Times, The Telegraph and she is one of the official photographers at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club. She says ‘I really want to help young people working on their project and in need of promo shoots, band shots and so on. People who really need some support

    This is a pilot project for musicians who are either based in London, or able to travel to London. We hope to open this up across the UK and beyond soon with a range of female photographers.

    We would like to support anyone who needs support in a fair and transparent way. Using guidance from the Help Musicians UK support fund, applications are open to anyone who is under financial hardship for example:

    Receiving Universal Credit and still struggling to make ends meet.

    Not eligible for Universal Credit but experiencing significant financial hardship and struggling to make ends meet

    Complex needs that go beyond financial hardship. These may include long-term health issues, complicated domestic circumstances or complex financial situations.

    We would value an open dialogue with you to ensure this financial support offer is going to women who need it. All applications will be considered and explored confidentially by the Women in Jazz Media team.

    Please note if you are successful, there is no requirement for you to reference the Women in Jazz Media Support Project in any way, but you will be required to credit the photographer for their work and be an advocate for ensuring their work is credited whenever it is used.

    Applications are through this form: Women in Jazz Media Photography Support Fund

  • Women in Jazz Media Live event!

    10th April 2021

    We are very excited to announce our first Women in Jazz Media live event on April 29th in partnership with the Vortex Jazz Club Huge shout out to team members Lara Jones and Aurelie Freoua for working hard behind the scenes to make this happen!

    We have four performance slots available for London based* female/female identifying artists. Please email us on info@womeninjazzmedia.com with your social media links, which must include a live video performance.

    We have a very short turn around time, so applications are open until Monday April 12th. All applications will be valued and respected.

    The wonderful artist Aurelie Freoua will be creating live paintings of the artists during the event. Due to current COVID 19 restrictions, the live event will be recorded and aired on International Jazz Day: April 30th

    We will be holding live events on a regular basis, throughout the UK and beyond, as soon as lockdown restrictions have eased, in partnership with a range of venues. Join us for our first one!

    *London based due to COVID travel considerations.

  • Top tips and guidance for new writers

    5th April 2021

    As part of our ongoing mission to create a more diverse Jazz industry, we have been contacting publications, authors and journalists to ask if they would share their top tips and guidance to help new writers. We have been thrilled by the response and are very happy to publish some thoughts from the inspirational Angelika Beener

    I love jazz because it is one of the most honest forms of expression there is. It requires honesty, intelligence, integrity and vulnerability. These essentials are needed in all facets of humanity. I love jazz because it's a blueprint for how we should operate in the world.

    To jazz writers, my advice would be to come to the craft the same way a musician comes to their craft. It comes back to honesty. Let the music lead you, always. Writers can get caught up in lots of traps. And while pitches, and hooks and marketing have their place, when you sit down to write, let it come from a heart space. Even if you're doing a review or a critique... open the heart center. Because that's where you'll find your originality as a writer.

    To the musicians out there, I know that now -- especially as we wade through the challenges of a pandemic -- things are tough. Not only are we faced with some big challenges, but there's no certain or clear-cut solution for us all just yet. Keep perfecting your craft. Make use of the time that the world has slowed down to get your practice regimen together; get a band together to rehearse with; stream performances online... hone your craft! Because things will indeed get moving again. And when they do, preparation will be important. So, make sure that you are working on your craft every single day!

  • Top tips and guidance for new writers - new series!

    23rd March 2021

    As part of our ongoing mission to create a more diverse Jazz industry, we have been contacting publications to ask if they would share their top tips and guidance to help new writers. We have been thrilled by the response and are very happy to publish our first one from Nick Lea, Editor in Chief of Jazz Views

    Top tips for new writers

    Nick Lea: Editor in Chief of Jazz Views

    When writing a review always approach it with an open mind. Often preconceptions about an artist that you either know or have heard about from press releases or colleagues/friends will be at odds with what you are about to listen too. In other words, 'don't judge a book by its cover' and expect the unexpected.

    Try not to read other reviews of the album that have been published elsewhere. You do not want the thoughts of others to influence your take on what you are listening too. Sometimes others will also come to the same conclusions as you, and if you have read this elsewhere it may discourage you from writing what you really feel about the music for fear of paraphrasing or echoing the sentiments of another reviewer.

    If at all possible, your first listen to the album should be 'blind' without having read the sleeve notes or press releases.

    I always like to listen to an album at least 3 or 4 times, usually more, before writing my review. It is okay to make notes at this stage but be prepared to revise or change your opinions as you get to know the music. You will always find things that you have not heard on previous listening.

    If you do not like the music, that is fine but do not simply dismiss it. You can write about what you did find interesting and write constructively about what did not appeal. Always remember when reviewing an album that this is the culmination of someone's life work. The hours spent studying, practicing and live performance have all led to the recording you are listening to.

    Always be yourself when reviewing albums. It is your opinion that your readers want not a mirror image of what they may have read elsewhere. We all hear music from different perspectives, we may be musicians or have no musical or theoretical knowledge but just enjoy listening, but your opinion in well written and thought-out review will be valued.

    Above all, enjoy the process of writing the review!

  • New Women in Jazz Media Playlist

    18th March 2021

    We have just created a new Women in Jazz Media Playlist Volume 1 on Spotify:

    Women in Jazz Media Playlist Volume 1

    We would, however, like to encourage you to support artists via purchasing their music. The links below take you straight to the artists sites where you can purchase music included on the WIJM playlist Volume 1:

    Georgia Mancio

    Ashaine White

    Kim Cypher

    Marta Capponi

    Wendy Kirkland

    Esther Bennett

    Malika Tirolien

    Emily Saunders

    Sarah Moule

    Collette Cooper

    Yuhan Su

    Fiona Ross

  • Latest article from Ashaine White

    17th March 2021

    Jazz Views have just published Ashaine White's article about her conversation with the incredible Angélika Beener for our podcast series. Angélika tells Ashaine:

    'Do the work, rise to the occasion as much as you can and then shoot your shot! You’d be surprised who might give you a chance, especially if you are black and especially if you are woman. This is a good time for us to kick in the door’

    In Conversation with… ANGÉLIKA BEENER

  • New release from Marta Capponi

    10th March 2021

    Stunning new album released March 9th from the fantastic Marta Capponi: Life Within

    Available on Bandcamp

  • International Women's Day: Women Who Inspire by Nigel Jarrett

    8th March 2021

    We asked Jazz Journalist Nigel Jarrett (https://jazzjournal.co.uk/) to share his thoughts on an inspirational woman as part of our International Women's Day celebrations. Here is his wonderful article:

    You have to be feisty to be a female jazz musician. While gender has become more complex, the complexity applies to both beings formerly known as men and beings formerly known as women. So there's a cancelling out of sub-divisions which leaves us with the original generic nomenclature needed to understand why women jazz musicians have a tougher time of it than the men, and why they need to battle on an additional front to the one jazz musicians as a whole accept as routine; and why a female jazz trumpeter might have to field a male comment about how he wished he were the trumpet engaging nightly with a ravishing embouchure.

    They not only have to convince a promoter to take them on because they are jazzers; they also have to do so because they are women. It's a double bind that applies elsewhere but more tightly in jazz because jazz jostles and shoves with bourbon-swilling, beer-quaffing alpha-males (not that the women couldn't handle spirits or ale and in fair quantity).

    There are exquisite examples of how the two co-exist. Miles Davis, having a relaxing intermission cigarette on the pavement outside Birdland is picked on by a bored cop because he's black and won't move on, and because the cop for no reason wants him to. Miles gets beaten up for his trouble, or lack of wanting any trouble. At a different time and asserting his superiority as a breadwinner, Miles thumps his wife, Frances Taylor Davis, after she comments approvingly on Quincy Jones's good looks, just as his father had floored his mother. Miles was high on a coke cocktail when he took a swing at Frances. The other elements in these stories – skin colour, parental example, drug dependency – can also be cancelled to leave that telling male-female fulcrum on which the ultimate balance is too often weighted in the man's favour.

    It's the right juncture to clarify the position, vis-a-vis male jazz musicians and male jazz followers. The former know they are in the same boat, especially if they share the additional bonding of being black. Of course, there are plenty of examples of how the male musician's chauvinism transcends his sense of musical fraternity. But it's the male-dominated wash of jazz admirers – in the provinces at least a superannuated crowd – that one finds boring beer-soaked bias, as James Ellroy, author of White Jazz and other high-grade pulp fiction, might put it. It's possibly the women's minority status in jazz that fuels male braggadocio, the idea that they are interlopers in a male world. Look through any pictorial history of jazz and the women sometimes appear as though having been added to the population for the sake of variety – that's variety as in 'variation' or 'novelty'. Women band vocalists were singers in male bands. No male singer was ever a singer in a female band. I like to think that the petite and demure pianist Lil Hardin in the King Oliver and Louis Armstrong bands kept the boys in check. Women rode the riverboats north, too, in small almost insignificant numbers: pianist Marge Creath, among them. Lovie Austin was the distaff representative in a flotilla of Chicago-school pianists such as Freddie Shayne, Frank Melrose, and Richard M. Jones. You had to be good to hold your own in places, often the home, where men ran things, often badly. In the 1920s, women singers lifted the rafters: Sara Martin, Lizzie Miles, Mamie Smith – and above all Bessie Smith.

    Listening to Bessie, one gets the impression of someone singing to be heard above a largely male throng, with its monopoly of gigs, positions of commercial power, and bandstand occupancy. Her style and appearance was diva-operatic. The story of her being refused admission to a segregated white hospital was always heroic, an indictment of pretensions to white supremacy, and an empirical reminder of what the Blues were about and why they were sung. That story, part of unexamined jazz history, has been de-constructed to the point of being refuted. After the 1937 car crash in which she was badly injured, she was advised – not much time wasted – to go to a black hospital, where, despite treatment, she died. She could have gone to an equidistant white one. Racial segregation denotes institutions that are exclusively black as well as exclusively white. In the South in the late 1930s, the reality was that the black ones were the less well-equipped. That's why she died, though she may not have recovered at the white one. Despite heavy drinking late in her career, she had been a conqueror of Boadicean stature. Like her booming contralto voice, she'd risen above the male enclave to unprecedented summits as a recording star with Columbia. Some say women musicians, because of their lesser number, have less competition than their male counterparts. But for women, the men are part of the competition, and part of the extenuating problem.

  • We are celebrating International Women’s Day on Monday March 8th!

    6th March 2021

    We will be launching our special edition magazine, celebrating many incredible women in Jazz, including Georgia Manico, Charu Suri, Tina Edwards, Kim Cypher, Ashaine White, Barbra Thompson, Shirley Horn and so many more! Stunning photography from featured Tatiania Gorilovksy and contributions from Citizen Jazz, Jazz Quarterly, Kind of Jazz, Indie Music Women and Jazz views. The magazine is fully interactive and includes fantastic videos and podcasts celebrating inspirational women. The magazine is free to all!

    Women in Jazz Media presents - A Celebration Of Women (special edition magazine)

    We are also holding an event on our Facebook page with many exciting activities through the day and evening. Live music from Kim Cypher, Ashaine White and Rouhangeze Baichoo, men and women sharing their videos stories of women that have inspired them, the launch of our new merchandise range and ‘Leadership for a Culture of Equality, in times of Peril & Peace’ Reading. Visit our Facebook event page for full details on all our activities for the day:

    https://www.facebook.com/events/1095590327531882

    Women in Jazz Media - facebook event, March 8th 2021