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Women in Jazz

Women in Jazz is a podcast dedicated to amplifying the voices of female and non-binary jazz musicians.

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Episode 12 - Ellen Seeling

My guest for Episode 12 is trumpet player and long-time advocate for women in jazz, Ellen Seeling. A Milwaukee native, Ellen was the first woman to earn a degree in Jazz Studies from Indiana University. In 1975 she moved to New York City, where she worked with the likes of The Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra, Machito, the Slide Hampton Big Band, Luther Vandross, Laura Nyro, The Temptations, Isis and Martha Reeves, among countless others. In 1980, Ellen and her now-wife, saxophonist and composer Jean Fineberg, formed the jazz fusion band DEUCE, recording two albums, and touring all over the United States. In 1989 the two relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area where they continued to play with DEUCE and several other ensembles, and in 1998 Ellen founded the Montclair Women’s Big Band, in an effort to provide greater visibility for the Bay Area community of women jazz artists. Ellen also spent many years teaching at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Jazzschool in Berkeley, California, and has held teaching positions at a number of other universities and events including Indiana University, Pennsylvania State University and the Kansas City Women’s Jazz Festival. In 2009 Ellen founded and co-directed the United States’ first summer jazz camp for girls, the Girls’ Jazz & Blues Camp, featuring a women’s faculty from the Montclair Women’s Big Band. Then, in 2015, Ellen co-founded Jazzwomen and Girls Advocates, in an effort to address the systemic and historic gender discrimination in jazz. Thus far, the organisation has consulted with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, playing a role in their adoption of new hiring processes, and also helped to encourage the Monterey Jazz Festival’s 500% increase in women instrumentalists programmed for its 2018 edition.Ellen and I caught up via Zoom in early April to discuss her experience coming up as a young female trumpet player in the late 1960s and early ‘70s; being invited to play professionally with the all-women jazz-rock band Isis and the legendary Laura Nyro while she was still in college; her experience living and working in New York for almost 15 years, often playing with otherwise all-male bands and orchestras; her work with Jazzwomen and Girls Advocates, in particular their lobbying of Jazz at Lincoln Center and Monterey Jazz Festival; and some of the music that has inspired her over her career.https://www.montclairwomensbigband.com/ (Ellen’s profile: https://www.montclairwomensbigband.com/about-us/ellen-seeling-bio)https://jazzwomenadvocates.org/Ellen on Marian McPartland’s ‘Piano Jazz’: https://www.npr.org/2013/12/06/249318939/ellen-seeling-on-piano-jazz Jean’s website, which features work by both Ellen and Jean: https://deuceband.com/https://soundcloud.com/montclairwomensbigband And my Q&A with Melbourne International Jazz Festival: https://www.melbournejazz.com/news/womeninjazzpodcast-qna/ Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/womeninjazz)

1hr 18mins

5 May 2021

Rank #1

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Episode 11 - Kay D Ray

This month’s guest is documentary filmmaker, Kay D Ray. Kay is the producer and director of the award-winning documentary Lady Be Good: Instrumental Women in Jazz, which features interviews with artists like Marianne McPartland, Vi Redd, Carline Ray, Roz Cron and Quincy Jones. She is also the producer and director of its more recent counterpart, In Her Hands: Key Changes in Jazz, which looks at women’s experiences in jazz today in the United States, and features artists like Anat Cohen, Grace Kelly and Ellen Seeling. Kay has also had decades of experience researching and producing content for museums, including her work as the senior film producer for Experience Music Project in Seattle, Washington, and as the co-curator and filmmaker for the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture’s 2010 project Jumpin' With The Big Bands.Kay and I caught up via Zoom in February to discuss what led her to filmmaking, and specifically to researching Women in Jazz; her experiences interviewing greats of the swing era like Marianne McPartland, Jane Sager and Lucille Dixon; what making her films taught her about the experiences of Women in Jazz in the 30s, 40s and 50s versus today; and some of the other great projects she’s had a chance to work on through her filmmaking career. http://www.kaydray.com/For distribution of Lady Be Good: Instrumental Women in Jazz and In Her Hands: Key Changes in Jazz, you can contact Kay via her website (or Passion River Films for Lady Be Good: http://www.passionriver.com/) Check out Kay’s 25 minute Documentary “Ernestine Anderson: There Will Never be Another You” about the jazz and blues vocalist here: https://www.seattlechannel.org/feature-shows/agewise-tv/?videoid=x118106The majority of Kay’s museum work is archived, but if you’re stopping by Hawaii and are interested in submarines, you can check out some films she created in 2019 at the Pacific Submarine Museum in Honolulu! 😉Sally Placksin’s American Women in Jazz: 1900 to the Present: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0872237605/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i2Sherrie Tucker’s “Swing Shift: “All-Girl” Bands of the 1940s”: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Swing-Shift-All-Girl-Bands-1940s/dp/0822328178 Kristin A. McGee’s “Some Liked it Hot: Jazz Women in Film and Television, 1928-1959”: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Some-Liked-Music-Culture-Paperback/dp/0819569089Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/womeninjazz)

1hr 9mins

25 Mar 2021

Rank #2

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Episode 10 - Pureum Jin

Pureum Jin is a South-Korean born, NYC-based, award-winning saxophonist, arranger, and composer. Pureum began playing saxophone as a teen in Korea, and developed her chops as a jazz musician in Seoul, before being accepted to a master’s degree program at Manhattan School of Music in New York City.After graduating in 2017, Pureum moved to Charlottesville, Virginia, for a year, where she performed as a member of the great John D’earth’s Sextet. Moving back to NYC in 2018, Pureum has been establishing herself as a key figure in the NYC jazz scene, and has played at international jazz festivals including Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival, Seoul Jazz Festival, DC Jazz Fest, and the GREC Music Festival in Spain. Her first album ‘The Real Blue’ - titled after the English translation of her name from Korean - was released in 2019 to rave reviews, further cementing Pureum’s place as a leading figure in jazz today.Pureum and I connected online in January 2021 to discuss her discovery of saxophone and jazz music as a teen in Korea; her experience studying at Manhattan School of Music, particularly as a young immigrant to the US; the inspiration for her album ‘The Real Blue’; and what it’s been like continuing her career in music as a young mother - including touring in Spain when her baby was just 6 months old!https://www.pureumjin.com/https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyzr8sGJSMPSt0HhX8Lzw9ghttps://www.instagram.com/pureumjinofficial/Buy ‘The Real Blue’: https://cellarlive.com/collections/latest/products/pureum-jin-the-real-blueAnd some links to jazz-influenced pianist and K-Pop artist Lee Jin Ah’s work:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZjA8vfddPQhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhNpjpEK4ic https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgWTs9IaY-k Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/womeninjazz)

1hr 23mins

3 Mar 2021

Rank #3

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Episode 09 - Camille Thurman

Camille Thurman grew up in Queens, New York, and developed her love for music at an early age, practising flute, piano and vocals. As a teen, Camille was accepted to Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and the Performing Arts, where she first picked up the tenor saxophone at age 15.Although some of Camille’s experiences in her final years at high school almost drove her away from a career in music, through the support and mentorship of experienced musicians, she found her way back to jazz. In her short-but-prolific career, Camille has received numerous awards, played alongside some of the world’s greatest active jazz musicians, and recorded four full-length albums as a band leader, including her 2018 release, Waiting for the Sunrise, which debuted at #2 on the Billboard Traditional Jazz Albums Chart. In 2018, Camille was also invited to join the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra for two seasons as a saxophonist, and is the first woman in 30 years to tour and perform full time with the world-renowned ensemble. Until the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, when not touring with jazz at Lincoln Center, Camille could usually be found on the road leading her own band, The Camille Thurman Quartet.Camille and I caught up via Zoom in December to discuss her earliest influences in music, her experiences at high school - including the gender-based bullying she endured in her later years there and how this contributed to a loss of confidence in her musical ability - the value of mentorship in the development of a young artist, her experience touring with Jazz at Lincoln Center, and some reflection on how integral representation and community outreach are in bringing more women to jazz, and in restoring jazz to black communities.https://www.camillethurmanmusic.com/https://music.apple.com/au/artist/camille-thurman/514867580 https://www.facebook.com/CamilleThurmanMusic/https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCESDy03qieJ44FiWxVz4CLgThe Haven Hang Playlist on YouTube: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLaOa12r61_SBKOB--RkVFJrobzGwkH6jtSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/womeninjazz)

1hr 27mins

29 Jan 2021

Rank #4

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Episode 08 - Risa Branch

Risa Branch is a vocalist and songwriter from the US. Although currently based in New York City, Risa grew up in Dallas, Texas, and spent much of her musical career working in Vancouver. While those who have followed Risa’s musical development might recognise her for the futuristic R&B and soul sounds of her debut solo album, in recent years Risa has found her way back to her roots as a jazz and blues vocalist.Risa and I caught up back in July, when things were opening up a little again over summer in the northern hemisphere, to discuss her musical influences growing up, her earlier work as a professional musician in Vancouver, what drew her into the world of jazz and blues in more recent years, how she views herself as an artist the skills she’s currently developing, and some of her observations of the cultural norms and dynamics of New York’s hot jazz scene.http://RisaBranch.comyoutube.com/SelectAhhRecordshttps://open.spotify.com/album/3dsIUp7P1ePkJIZChnxqFt?si=afq6xp2QQEmVPGgyXdzcmwFacebook Page, with updates on Split Screen Sessions: facebook.com/RisaBranchhttps://youtu.be/VFEEpiOC10gSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/womeninjazz)

57mins

29 Dec 2020

Rank #5

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Episode 07 - Audrey Powne

Audrey Powne is an Australian trumpeter, vocalist and songwriter. Born in Warragul, in country Victoria, Audrey moved to Melbourne as a teen, where she took every opportunity to get stuck into jazz and the local music scene. A prolific young musician who has been central to Melbourne's jazz and soul scenes in the last decade, Aussie audiences might recognise her from the sweet soul band Leisure Centre, and her electro funk project Au Dré. Although Audrey has been based in New York for some time, when we caught up back in September, she was in the middle of hard-core lockdown in Melbourne, where she made the difficult decision to wait out the height of the pandemic. A week out from the release of her new EP, “Bed I Made”, Audrey shared with me her experience developing as a jazz musician in Melbourne and the landscape for young women getting into playing jazz now, her experience touring with Aussie blues/soul band, The Teskey Brothers, the rather unique position that current jazz musicians find themselves in of having to ‘compete’ with jazz’s legacy, and to fight audience expectations to fit a certain stereotype, and her experiences with jazz in London and New York, versus in Melbourne. http://www.audreypowne.com/ https://audreypowne.bandcamp.com/https://youtu.be/LEVUl_m2vtEhttps://open.spotify.com/artist/7haSdjsYwJxGe9suoweTLm?si=x_V0l0oNQIOI_-p1pR5chASupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/womeninjazz)

1hr 54mins

30 Nov 2020

Rank #6

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Episode 06 - Marilyn T. Keller

Marilyn T. Keller grew up in Alamogordo, New Mexico in the United States surrounded by music. The daughter of a baptist minister, gospel music was especially central to Marilyn’s early development, with both of her parents singing in gospel groups. Later trained in jazz as a member of the Mt. Hood Community College Vocal Jazz Ensemble in Portland, Oregon, Marilyn is a 39-year veteran of music and stage performance in Jazz, Gospel, R&B, Pop, Blues, and theater both in the States and internationally.Marilyn and I sat down in late June to discuss her early development as a musician and how she came to a career in jazz, what she learned about the legendary Ma Rainey when she was cast to play her in a 2011 production of playwright August Wilson’s play “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”, her involvement in US politics and her work in support of the Democratic party, and her thoughts about black female representation both in jazz media today and elsewhere.https://www.marilyntkeller.com/https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVU6NbT_bJ6GT0-UBpFgJZwhttps://soundcloud.com/marilyn-t-keller https://www.instagram.com/marilyntkeller/https://vimeo.com/ondemand/queerbluesdivas/32067525 Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/womeninjazz)

1hr 31mins

15 Sep 2020

Rank #7

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Episode 05 - Tutu Puoane

Tutu Puoane was born in Atteridgeville, Pretoria, in South Africa. She started playing music professionally in 1997 in Johannesburg, and soon began studying jazz vocals at the University of Cape Town. Now based in Antwerp, Belgium, Tutu has played all over the world in countries like Italy, the United States, Germany, The Netherlands, France, and of course Belgium and her native South Africa. Tutu and I connected in mid-July to discuss her experience growing up in South Africa and what inspired her as a young musician, what the jazz music scene is like in Belgium and how it compares to other countries, and her current work, including her own compositions based on the poetry of South African actor and writer Lebogang Mashile. https://www.tutupuoanemusic.com/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4R6ilpwA64 https://www.facebook.com/tutupuoanemusic/videos/2930200417262492/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miriam_Makeba https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNeP3hrm__k https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lebogang_Mashile https://www.thandintuli.com/ https://www.youtube.com/user/BokaniDyer https://www.facebook.com/Afrika-Mkhize-522818047821314/ Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/womeninjazz)

1hr 20mins

4 Aug 2020

Rank #8

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Episode 04 - Tricia Evy

Born in the northeastern suburbs of Paris, Tricia grew up in Guadeloupe before returning to Paris as a young adult in 2006. Already a talented singer and lover of music, it was in Paris that Tricia discovered jazz, immersing herself in the music of Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong. Since then, Tricia has travelled all over the world playing jazz, and loves to bring a varied repertoire of jazz to her audiences, inspired by both standards and music from her from her Caribbean heritage. Her most recent album, Usawa, was released in 2018, alongside pianist David Fackeure. Tricia and I met up in Bondy in February this year to chat about her journey toward becoming a professional musician, her feelings around the culture of learning and creating jazz, and her experience discovering that swing dances like Lindy Hop were in fact a black artform (not white, as she had thought), and how this led her to create Guadeloupe's first (and for the moment, only?) swing and jazz dance festival.http://www.triciaevy.com/https://www.facebook.com/triciaevyofficiel/https://music.apple.com/fr/album/usawa/1364508184https://www.amazon.com/Usawa-Tricia-Evy/dp/B07BR61QSBSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/womeninjazz)

57mins

10 Apr 2020

Rank #9

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Episode 03 - Heather Stewart

Our guest for February is another Australian; Parisian-based violinist and vocalist, Heather Stewart. Born in rural New South Wales, Australia, Heather fell in love with music at an early age, and studied a variety of styles over the years. Now living in Paris, Heather’s current focus is on jazz, swing, acoustic blues and folk music - all of which she gets to explore in her ensemble The Dirty Ragtimers, who will be heading on tour in Australia in March and April of 2020 to promote their new album, ‘Fairytales of Montmartre’ Heather and I sat down in her apartment in Paris in November of 2019 to chat about life growing up in country Australia, and how that somehow led her to study and play music across the world.  https://www.heatherstewart.com.au/https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7MmfNQHNynsNxZ9QWn6XWgSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/womeninjazz)

1hr 46mins

28 Feb 2020

Rank #10