In partnership with Jazz HeritageWales, the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) will host the fourth Documenting Jazz Conference from 9 to 12 November in Swansea, supported by the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama (RWCMD) and Brecon Jazz.
The conference will be held at the Dylan Thomas Centre, Swansea, and will focus on the theme of diversity and aims to create an interdisciplinary forum which is both inclusive and wide-ranging for sharpening awareness, sharing studies and experiences, and focusing the debate on distinct aspects of diversity in jazz today. http://documentingjazz.com
Joan Cartwright will present on Thursday, November 10 @ 11 a.m. EST
Keynote: Who gives voice todiversityin jazz?
Dr Joan Cartwright is a renowned veteran of the Jazz and Blues stage for 40+ years. She is a vocalist, composer, and author of several books, including her memoir with touring and teaching experiences, and was honored as the…
I wrote this post inspired, thinking someone else may relate. Then, I cringed, realizing it’s a bit self-focused. But why? I love it when others post their personal insights. Why doubt it? So here goes. Forgive me if I mentioned past stuff before. It’s relevant now.
In 2015. after pivoting countless times on command and being fired and rehired by the same venues, an agent (I liked, and just the messenger) called and said, ‘Oh yeah, that venue, they don’t want jazz now. Ok, in their exact words, they want “an eighteen-year-old girl singing Coldplay covers.”
It was no different from a zillion other phone calls saying, “You’re too old. You don’t wear enough makeup. You don’t smile enough when you sing.”
But this time something snapped inside. I realized I had to get a job where it no longer mattered how I looked and I had to do it ASAP because something was really messed up. I’d chosen a life path based on my love of sound. Yet, in order to work, so much depended on how things looked. The whole point of music for me is its human vulnerability. That is the actual drawcard.
What is human about having to look perfect and young all the time? These weren’t movies or magazines. I am not a model. They were regular, higher-end venues and corporate gigs. Why did I play along for so long? Because I loved doing the gigs. The worst part is I bought into toxic attitudes about aging, which I am still working through, in 2021, and I am only 51!
One of my grandmothers embraced aging more than she needed to. She joined Senior Citizen’s clubs in her 50s, while my other grandmother fought against it, wearing make-up on her hands. The irony was, her fear distracted me from noticing a real elegance about her.
I don’t want to carry these conflicting, junky residue ideas about aging anymore because there is society’s obsession with plastic surgery, also. Why does Dolly Parton look great? Because she radiates self-respect, acceptance, and love. So, there is no right or wrong way. Each to their own.
To be clear, the agents I worked for were great, especially, Peter O’Regan and Dave Douglas, who fought very hard to stop a venue from firing me for some ridiculous reason I have long forgotten but made no sense at the time. I am grateful to those who kept food on my table. This is a societal issue. People started listening to music with their EYES. When? Was it rock and roll, Elvis? I don’t know. But it is at the loss to the music if you know what I mean.
Anyhow, not long after that phone call, I stopped performing and went grey and it was fantastic. No one at the supermarket cared! Maybe, I will gig, again, without that pressure. However, right now, recording is perfect for me because the sound is all that matters. This Christmas, I bought hairdressing scissors and cut my hair off. It was no big deal, cutting off all my stupid limited ideas from the past. We must be who we are. Happy 2022!
Conquest Graphics in Pennsylvania came through for us, once again, with a $2,500 Free printing grant! As fortune continues to smile upon us, we ventured into the second issue of Musicman Magazine to feature Men Who Pluck Strings! Three is the charm and our third issue of Musicwoman Magazine is magic! This is what we do with our grant, promote talented and often unsung sheroes and heroes in the music industry.
In 2014, when we won our first grant, we published the first Catalog of Women in Arts & Business. For three more years, we published this catalog that enabled us to earn income from advertisement. By 2019, we published the first issue of Musicwoman Magazine featuring some of our members stories. The second issue featured Seasoned Women Musicians and Young Lionesses. The third issue is about Women Who Pluck Strings. All of these women have weathered the storm of the male-dominated music industry to emerge as sirens of hope and joy.
The first issue of Musicman Magazine emerged quite naturally, following a jazz festival produced by one of our musical male members, Melton Mustafa, Jr. who brought us the stories of two dynamic duos for the second issue. All in all, the printing grant boosted our mission by 1000%. Our nonprofit is in its 14th year of promoting women musicians, globally. This grant helped us do that in a very big way and, now, we are able to promote men in music, as well.
The year of the pandemic, 2020 presented insurmountable challenges for people, worldwide. Musicians had to throw on their amazing technicolor dream coats and wave their wands to make music through Zoom, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. Their Tales from the Dusty Trail will catapult these publications into a long-lasting shelf life. Aside from the musicians highlighted in these magazines, we salute the writers who contributed the articles and interviews. They hail from the East to the West Coast of North America and from Italy, Sweden, Serbia, and China.
This generous printing grant from Conquest Graphics enabled us to brand our company, Women in Jazz South Florida, Inc. in a publication that was 10 years in the making. This grant brought our dream to fruition. Now, we can gather more stories and anecdotes for future issues. Meanwhile, members get to enjoy these publications as a benefit of their membership. Non-members get the magazine for a nominal fee that keeps our earnings flowing.
People in the U.S., Europe, and China have enjoyed the read and some joined us in our quest to promote women musicians, globally, by sharing Musicwoman Magazine with their family and friends. Each issue engrosses our readers in the stories, while shining a light on musical icons – women and men who have stood the test of time in the world of classics, jazz, blues, and R&B.
We appreciate the opportunity to uncover talent that many people have overlooked. Without our printing grants for the past seven years, our work would not have been as poignant and memorable. A picture paints a thousand words and the pen is a mighty sword. Our publications show the world who the unsung stars are. We have Conquest Graphics to thank for that privilege.