Author Archives: Monika Herzig

1, 2, 3… Action

WomenInJazzConcert

For the last article in my series on women in jazz this month, I would like to reflect on a 20th annual series of concerts that we just completed with an eight-piece all female group in celebration of Women’s History Month and to conclude with action steps towards an inclusive future.

But Can She Play?

Can She Play

The likelihood of a female teenager volunteering for an improvised solo in front of her peers that includes the option of failure is certainly smaller than her male band mate stepping out to show off his unique personality.

Unsung Heroes

Kaytee Esser's painting "Kansas City Jazz"

There were plenty of capable and talented ladies involved with jazz from the beginnings of jazz history, but social expectations for the household matriarch did not include frequenting dance halls at night and touring around the country for weeks in a bus full of men. For some brave women, the attraction to this exciting new music was stronger than social barriers.

Three Strikes Against Success

Monika Herzig

In 1988, I arrived in the US ready to start a career as a jazz musician. So my boyfriend (now husband for over 20 years) Peter Kienle and I formed a fusion group with a bassist and drummer from the University of Alabama where I was completing a master’s degree. But one day during rehearsals, I noticed that the bassist didn’t address his questions about my charts to me, but rather to Peter.