How does gender affect your music? Amina Claudine Myers

Photo courtesy Also Productions, Inc. Gender doesn’t have anything to do with my compositions. Well, not that I know of. My music comes from how I see my life, how I see other people, nature, my experiences, things that I see and think about. You could be either male or female to do it that […]

How does gender affect your music? Jamie Baum

Photo by Sandra Eisner When asked if gender has had an influence on my compositions, my reaction was of surprise—surprise that I hadn’t been asked that question before, not in 20 years of performing. I’ve been interviewed by the press, radio, television, and during panel discussions. There have always been questions regarding the experience and […]

How does gender affect your music? Ursel Schlicht

Photo by Joerg Steinmetz Gender has definitely had an effect on my compositional voice—which I only came to realize gradually in conjunction with my research about women composers in jazz. What becomes the “mainstream” in jazz—and virtually all other kinds of music—has primarily been determined by men. Women and men tend to be guided towards […]

How does gender affect your music? Nora York

Photo by Stephanie Berger I am a singer first—then a composer. Singing is the direct and immediate expression of my experience. My voice finds form inside my body, so, at that fundamental level, gender forms my music. To quote a Joel Forrester tune that I often sing, “I am what I am and that’s all.” […]

How does gender affect your music? Jane Ira Bloom

Photo by Jack Vartoogian In the music world that I travel in, composition and improvisation are completely entwined and most often I have fielded questions about how a feminine perspective might effect my sound as a jazz soloist. It’s new to me to think about what gender factors might be at work in my composition […]

How does gender affect your music? Katharine Cartwright

Photo by David Coulter Yes, I would say that gender has played a part in shaping my work as an artist in general, and my writing and arranging in particular. Gender roles were a curiosity even when I was a little girl. A line of feminist women in my father’s family, artists, and gardeners, had […]

Another View: Music and Wilderness

photo by Dennis Keeley In addition to my wife Cynthia and our son Sage, there are two great loves in my life: music and wilderness. At first blush, these two things may not seem to have much in common. Music is among the most social of human experiences. Wilderness is where we sometimes go to […]

Another View: I’d Rather be Disliked than Ignored

Lenore von SteinPhoto by Jim Graham I just heard a panel discussion at the Village Vanguard about the state of jazz–there were three jazz critics and three jazz academics on the panel. One critic, Gary Giddins, said he doesn’t waste his space writing about things he doesn’t like. He also said that jazz writing shouldn’t […]

View from the West: Improvise? What Do You Mean I Have to Improvise?

Dean SuzukiPhoto by Ryan Suzuki What happened to the practice of improvisation? It had been, to varying degrees, an integral part of the Western classical tradition for centuries, but sometime in the 19th century it fell by the wayside. Picking up the pieces has been difficult and problematic at best, or not even on the […]