Women in Instrumental Jazz and Women’s History Month

Women in Instrumental Jazz and Women’s History Month

“Hal Galper said something that was interesting . . . somebody said, ‘So, Hal, you know jazz has pretty gone as far as it can go, right? I mean what’s left to change?’ . . . he goes, ‘I guess the only thing left to change is women. More women.’. . . I kind of feel the same way.” -Jazz trumpeter Ingrid Jensen

March is National Women’s History Month, and Yoko Miwa debuted at the Regattabar last year as part of their celebration of women musicians. Yoko’s talents set her apart in the jazz world. Not only is she a woman instrumentalist, but she is a composer and the leader of her trio. The instrumental jazz world, like many art forms, has long been dominated by male performers. But if we let go of preconceptions of what instrumental jazz should be or used to be, the talent of Yoko Miwa and other women can shine through and welcome new fans to the genre. Jazz in the 21st century should change, evolve, and welcome new ideas just like other art forms such as photography, film, etc. If you exclude 50% of the population, you can only push the envelope so far and reach so many people.

Here’s a clip of Yoko performing Girl Talk. It’s a powerful juxtaposition to have a title associated with something often brushed off as trivial with such a strong, confident performance on the piano.

Yoko and her trio will again be performing at the Regattabar during Women’s History Month (March 27th). So come out and support her acclaimed talent and change the perceptions of who should perform jazz. Click here for tickets and more information.

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