The Washington Women in Jazz Festival returns for a new exciting edition! Kicking off exactly one week after the International Women’s Day, the event celebrates its 4th edition with a lively week of jazz music. If you want to listen to some of the most talented women in jazz, this festival is the perfect place for you.
Every March 8th, million of women around the world celebrate International Women’s Day. A single day, however, does not do justice to women, who should be celebrated every day! Unfortunately, it still happens that women are treated in unequal ways or are less represented than men. And, when it comes to regional jazz festivals, this is still the case.
This is why, in 2011, Amy K Bormet created the Washington Women in Jazz Festival. The purpose of this annual event, which this year takes place from March 15th to 22nd, was to form a jazz festival where women could come together to collaborate, perform and to support one another, while uplifting the image of the jazz community and drawing in new audiences. And what a success it has been! A future event was confirmed right after the first edition and now the festival is getting ready to celebrate its 4th anniversary.
The schedule of the 2014 Washington Women in Jazz Festival
The 2014 Washington Women in Jazz Festival will kick off with an opening night that features the EP release of singer Integriti Reeves. Reeves is considered a vocal powerhouse, whose “Modern Vintage” style represents a crossroads where jazz of the past, present and the future meet. Inspired by contemporary artists like Feist and The Bird and The Bee, she combines an experimental outlook with a retro style that pays tribute to the icons of the 1950s. Integriti Reeves, who has performed alongside world’s renowned contemporary stars like Herbie Hancock, Stevie Wonder and Esperanza Spalding, will release her new EP.
The festival will continue with a double-show on Sunday 16th. From 2 pm, singer Jessica Boykin-Settles will present the music and life of the late jazz singer and pianist Shirley Horn. Horn, a Washington D.C.-native, was very popular for her ability to accompany herself with nearly incomparable independence and ability on the piano while singing. The second day of the Washington Women in Jazz Festival 2014 will end with a performance by Jen Chapin. Daughter of singer-songwriter Harry Chapin and poet/songwriter Sandra, Jen Chapin has been very active in music, as well as in activism. In fact, she serves on the Board of Directors of the grassroots support organization WhyHunger. Her music has been described as “jazz tinged urban folk soul…incorporating the funk, soul and improvisation of the city” and she has been compared to vocal stars such as Laura Nyro, Tori Amos and Alanis Morissette.
On Monday, it will be time for the sublime sounds of harpist Brandee Younger, while on Tuesday the Washington Women in Jazz Festival will welcome a talented roster of jazz women: Mary Halvorson, Allison Miller, Sarah Hughes, Jaimie Branch, Karine Chapdelaine, Amy K Bormet. Brandee Younger is a classically trained hybrid harpist known for her work with saxophonist Ravi Coltrane and for her appearances, as guest musician, in albums by Coltrane himself, Common and John Legend.
Brooklyn-based avant-garde guitarist Mary Halvorson is a graduate of Wesleyan University who has performed with numerous artists, including Jessica Pavone, Anthony Braxton and Jessica Pavone. Drummer Allison Miller is one of the most in-demand female drummers. In addition to performing and recording with the likes of Norah Jones, Kenny Barron and Ray Drummond, Miller was chosen by the US State Department to tour East Africa, Eurasia and Southeast Asia as a Jazz Ambassador.
Sarah Hughes is a talented saxophonist and music educator, while Jaimie Branch is a rising star among contemporary American jazz trumpeters. Double bassist Karine Chapdelaine, a graduate of Montreal’s McGill University, has been enjoying a successful career. In addition to performances around the world, including concerts in Brazil, Finland, Peru, Turkey and Spain, she won the Galaxie Prize for best composition at the 2003 Montreal Jazz Festival. Amy K Bormet is not only the founder of the Washington Women in Jazz Festival, but she is also a very skilled pianist, singer and composer.
On March 20th, the music of the legendary Melba Liston will relive on the stage of the Washington Women in Jazz Festival thanks to Leigh Pilzer and Jen Krupa. The duo will play the music of one of America’s greatest female trombonists and creator of several jazz classics. Friday March 21th will feature a gig by a talented all-female big band: Shannon Gunn and the Bullettes. This jazz orchestra based out of the D.C. area brings all generations together through a laid-back but hard swinging repertoire.
For its grand finale, the 2014 Washington in Women Jazz Festival has prepared a very special set of shows. The day will start with masterclasses by Jazz Ambassador and drummer Allison Miller. The Young Artist Contest and Jam Session will follow. This year, the list of finalists for the Young Artist Contest includes:
- Lianna Gekker- piano
- Alex Hamburger- flute/voice
- Emily Jordan- saxophone/voice
- Samantha Law- voice
- Taylar Lee- voice
- Cati Sesana- drums
- Laura Spence- voice
Vocalist Integriti Reeves will be back for the festival’s final performance alongside the Isabelle De Leon Trio and tap dancer Melissa Frakman. From 6:30 pm, the Wesley United Methodist Church will turn into the perfect music stage and dancefloor for the explosive grand finale of the 2014 Washington Women in Jazz Festival.
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March 15th – 22nd
Washington D.C., United States