Since the arrival of the 21st century, jazz has evolved into a truly cross-generational, multicultural musical art form that is assimilating an unprecedented array of musical styles and techniques. At the same time, the male-dominated paradigm that has defined the historical narrative of jazz is no more. Women are shaking up the music industry while the general public is becoming much more aware of the contributions female musicians have made to jazz. “Freedom of Expression: Interviews With Women in Jazz,” a collection of interviews with 37 female musicians, musicians of all ages, nationalities, and races, and representing nearly every style of jazz one can imagine, provides evidence of this profound evolution. The interviewees speak about their earliest experiences playing music, the years of practice required to become a professional musician, and what jazz means in the new millennium. These interviews will inform and inspire both casual and seasoned fans of this music, as well as young musicians taking their first steps in the journey to master their craft. “At long last, an in-depth recognition of the female contributions to jazz. As Dr. Billy Taylor said about the lack of awareness of female musicians: ‘If it isn’t written down, it didn’t happen.’ Now everyone will know that it did happen and continues to happen. What a great gift to the history of women and music.” — Judy Chaikin, director of “The Girls in the Band.”
The interviewees: Mindi Abair – Saxophones; Cheryl Bentyne – Voice; Jane Ira Bloom – Soprano Saxophone; Samantha Boshnack – Trumpet; Dee Dee Bridgewater – Voice; Terri Lyne Carrington – Drums; Sharel Cassity – Saxophones; Anat Cohen – Clarinet, Saxophones; Jean Cook – Violin; Connie Crothers – Piano; Eliane Elias – Piano, Voice; Ayelet Rose Gottlieb – Voice; Lenae Harris- Cello; Val Jeanty – Electronics, Percussion; Jan Leder – Flute; Jennifer Leitham – Double Bass; Carmen Lundy – Voice; Sherrie Maricle – Drums; Jane Monheit – Voice; Jacqui Naylor – Voice; Aurora Nealand – Saxophones, Clarinet; Iris Ornig – Double Bass; Alisha Pattillo – Tenor Saxophone; Roberta Piket – Piano; Cheryl Pyle – Flute; Nicole Rampersaud – Trumpet; Sofia Rei – Voice; Patrizia Scascitelli – Piano; Diane Schuur – Voice; Ellen Seeling – Trumpet; Helen Sung – Piano; Jacqui Sutton – Voice; Mazz Swift – Violin, Voice; Nioka Workman – Cello; Pamela York – Piano; Brandee Younger – Harp; Malika Zarra – Voice
The 328-page book includes 42 photographs, a 24-page history of jazz, and individual introductions to each interview. The interviews are presented in a traditional Q&A format.
[Front cover photo of Connie Crothers by Peter Gannushkin]
About the Author
Chris Becker has written about all styles of music for several print and online publications, including Culturemap Houston, Houston Press. All About Jazz, and Sequenza 21. He is also an active composer of music for dance, film, and mixed-media installations.