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Aging Gracefully

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!

Elizabeth Geyer

Sydney, Australia

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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.

Much love and appreciate,
Dr. Joan Cartwright, Editor
http://wijsf.org

This year, the contest is different. Please click the link, scroll down to WOMEN IN JAZZ SOUTH FLORIDA, INC. and vote for us with each email that you have. https://www.conquestgraphics.com/…/nonprofit-partners-2020

Nonprofit Partners 2020 | Conquest Graphics
Nonprofit organizations have a chance to win print grant money need your vote.


Thanks,

Dr. Joan Cartwright, Executive Director
Women in Jazz South Florida, Inc.
954-740-3398
FACEBOOK and TWITTER
Support women musicians!
www.wijsf.org


 
  

2021 Publications

Share your stories with www.musicwomanmagazine.com

and www.musicmanmagazine.com

Conquest Graphics Print Sponsor

The second issue of Musicwoman Magazine was printed through a grant from Conquest Graphics. The company, located in Richmond, VA since 1922, has supported our non-profit Women in Jazz South Florida, Inc. with a FREE printing grant for five years.

cg-logo_1-2015

  • In 2014, we won our first grant of $1,000 and published the first catalog
  • In 2015, we won $750 and published the second catalog
  • We won $1,500 in 2016 and published the third catalog
  • In 2018, we won $5,000 and published the first Musicwomen Magazine
  • In 2019, we won $2,500 and published the second Musicwoman Magazine

Help us show our appreciation by patronizing www.conquestgraphics.com printing services.

 

MWM Spring 2020

Today, the second issue of Musicwoman Magazine is at the printer. This issue features veteran women musicians and young lionesses who are making their mark in the world of jazz. Here’s the inside scoop!
1mwmtableofcontents2020

http://www.musicwomanmagazine.com

Read the online magazine here:

1musicwomen magazine 2020 cover

 

Where are the women musicians?

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  • Where are the women musicians?
  • What are they earning compared to male musicians?
  • What are the keys to success in the music business?

Musicwoman Magazine is here!

Women musicians earn less than women in other fields.

Find out who and where they are in Musicwoman Magazine!

 

The Spring 2019 issue of Musicwoman Magazine is receiving rave reviews. We’re moving forward with building the next issue publishing in January 2020. What do we need? Advertisement and articles! The links above will take you to the information you need to advertise and submit an article. WIJSF Members get a deep discount on advertising and have an opportunity to earn a commission on ad sales.

NEXT Issue

The Spring 2019 issue of Musicwoman Magazine is receiving rave reviews. We’re moving forward with building the FALL 2019 issue. What do we need? Advertisement and articles! The links above will take you to the information you need to advertise and submit an article. WIJSF Members get a deep discount on advertising and have an opportunity to earn a commission on ad sales.

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