Saturday, December 14, 2013

Women In Jazz excerpt #3: New Business Models

Number three in a series of excerpts I'm crafting for the introduction to Women In Jazz. The copy is, of course, still a work-in-progress, but constructive comments and suggestions are more than welcome. The other two excerpts I've posted are Concerns About The Book's Title and A (Very) Brief History Of Women In Jazz.

Clarinetist, saxophonist, and composer Anat Cohen (Photo by Jimmy Katz)
New Business Models

“I was a very rare artist in the 90s, to have that ability to produce my own albums. I decided my own music and my fate, my image, my everything. I controlled that. Not a record company.” — Dee Dee Bridgewater to the author, 2013

When asked, each musician I interviewed for this book confirmed they are seeing more women than ever working in the music industry, and not only as musicians, but as recording engineers, managers, label owners, and publicists. This growing emergence of women in an industry that is almost unrecognizable when compared to what it was at the end of the 20th century, is significant, given what women bring to the proverbial table in times of upheaval and traumatic change.[i]

The business paradigms that since the earliest days of the music industry have destroyed the livelihood of artists are now being challenged and renegotiated by pop stars, such as Madonna and Beyoncé, as well as women musicians across the spectrum of jazz. Artist-run labels, crowdfunding, and new types of contracts with recording labels are just a few of the ways the artists interviewed in this book are taking control of the business of making music.   

Artist-Run Labels

"Anzic Records didn't start just because I wanted artistic freedom. It started because I wanted to have control over what happens to my albums…The days where musicians just played music and didn't need to think about business are over." — Anat Cohen to the author, 2013.

All of the musicians I interviewed for this book are actively involved in recording, promoting, and selling their music. Several of the interviewees own or co-own independent record labels and/or production companies, including Anat Cohen (Anzic Records), Jane Ira Bloom (Outline Music), Dee Dee Bridgewater (DDB Productions, Inc.), and Carmen Lundy (Afrasia Productions), or manage distribution and sales of their music through their own websites and/or online platforms for selling CDs and downloads, such as CD Baby and Bandcamp.

In 1969, long before the advent of the Internet and MP3s, jazz vocalist Betty Carter took control of her music by creating a label she named Bet Car Records which, in turn, inspired Bridgewater to start her own label and production company.

"I would go over to (Betty's) house and she would have her LPs lined up in the hallway (as) she was preparing to ship them out,” says Bridgewater. “My biggest influence has been Betty Carter. Not because I tried to sound like her or imitate her…but because I wanted that kind of freedom.”[ii]

As a member of a thriving, forward-thinking music community based in New Haven, Connecticut in the mid-1970s, a community that included trombonist George Lewis, drummer Gerry Hemmingway, and bassist Mark Dresser, composer and soprano saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom was given the impetus to start her own record label and publishing company, Outline Music. Bloom points out in her interview for this book that the recording industry at the time "was in a real lull," meaning, if you were a creative but relatively unknown artist that "had music that was worth documenting," you had to learn how to record, package, and distribute your own album.

The independent music label New Artists Records began in 1982 after pianist Connie Crothers and the drummer Max Roach recorded a series of spontaneously improvised duets. When no record company expressed interest in releasing the recordings, Crothers and Roach formed the label, which was later reconfigured to operate as a cooperative. Each musician on New Artists Records contributes to the operating expenses of the label and receives 100% of his or her album sales.

Since digital technology now allows audio and video recordings to be easily bootlegged and uploaded to the Internet, an overwhelming number of aural and visual examples of jazz performance, going as far back to the turn of the century and on into the present day, are readily available and instantly accessible to both casual consumers and serious students of music. In her 2009 interview with the website Solidarity, Crothers describes the impact the Internet has had on smaller as well as "big record companies."

"This is a change in the technology of distribution,” says Crothers, “and like other similar changes in technological history it will not be stopped. One conclusion is, inevitably, that recording is no longer a feasible way to make money."

However, in the same interview, Crothers acknowledges that there is a flip side to the less than artist-friendly aspects of the Internet.

"In a time when people bemoan the failure of jazz,” says Crothers, “you can get the music of just about every jazz artist who ever lived and recorded. Having gone through a time in the 1960s when it was impossible to get records of even some giants like Charlie Parker, this seems like a renaissance to me."[iii]


Crowdfunding has become an extremely popular method for musicians to raise funds for specific projects, such as the recording of a new album. With crowdfunding, a musician sets the funding goal for his or her project and then uses an online platform such as Kickstarter or IndieGoGo to promote a fundraising campaign and facilitate monetary donations from fans to the project. Most campaigns offer a variety of “rewards” to donors, each based on the dollar amount of a donation. Crowdfunding platforms are typically for-profit businesses, and donations to a campaign are not tax deductible. However, the New York-based art infrastructure organization Fractured Atlas, which offers fiscal sponsorship to artists without not-for-profit status, is partnered with IndieGoGo so that online crowdfunded donations to Fractured Atlas artist-members are tax deductible.  

Composer and big band leader Maria Schneider is one of the best-known jazz artists to successfully, and repeatedly use crowdfunding, specifically the online platform ArtistShare, to finance the recording of several of her critically acclaimed albums. Among the interviewees in this book, trumpeter and composer Samantha Boshnack, used Kickstarter to raise over $6,000 toward the recording of Go To Orange by her fifteen-member ensemble B’Shnorkestra. Violinist Mazz Swift, bassist Jennifer Leitham and cellist Nioka Workman have also each utilized crowdfunding platforms to fund their recording projects.  

New Types Of Contracts

In her interview for this book, drummer, composer, and producer Terri Lyne Carrington explains how a recording project with a strong concept or "angle," such as her Grammy award-winning album The Mosaic Project, which features an all-female line up of jazz, R&B, hip-hop and Latin-music artists, can help the process of securing what is called a license deal with a record company.

In a license deal, the artist is expected to cover the costs of recording an album and deliver a finished product to the label. The artist then licenses out the rights to the recording for a finite period to a label, splitting any income that comes in from sales and licensing deals to television shows, commercials, and/or movies, before all rights revert back to the artist.[iv]

Unlike the standard album deal, a license deal allows an artist to avoid being in debt to a label and retain the rights to their master recordings, rights that allow them to earn additional income so long as their music remains available and in print.[v] Many of the artists interviewed in this book have benefited from license deals or what I call "hybrid" deals, which combine aspects of standard royalty, license, and manufacturing and distribution deals.

Musicians typically spend their formative years practicing and playing and honing their technique; this timeline of disciplined focus is crucial for any musician with aspirations of playing at the professional level. However, when it comes to building a career, a musician will be at a serious disadvantage if they do not also develop a basic understanding of the music business.

“For me it took, like, 20 years in before I was really seeing how involved I could be on (the business) side of things,” says Carrington, who believes music business classes should be a mandatory part of a music conservatory’s curriculum.

“Everybody has to know certain things,” says Carrington. “It all should be talked about as early as possible.”

[i] "With Another Country, Cassandra Wilson continues to expand the boundaries of jazz," by Chris Becker, Culturemap Houston, October 18, 2012.
[ii] Marian McPartland also started her label Halcyon Records that same year.
[iii] “Jazz in the New Depression,” Connie Crothers interviewed by Against the Current for Solidarity, September/October 2009.
[iv] How Music Works, by David Byrne, McSweeny’s, 2012.
[v] Ibid.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Women In Jazz: Concerns About the Book's Title (revised)

An excerpt from my book Freedom of Expression: Interviews With Women in Jazz. This has been one of the most popular excerpts/blog posts since this project began, and I appreciate everyone sharing their thoughts.

(Jack Teagarden, Dixie Bailey, Mary Lou Williams, Tadd Dameron, Hank Jones, Dizzy Gillespie and Milt Orent in Williams’s apartment, New York, August 1947. Photo by William P. Gottlieb.)

Concerns About The Book's Title

One day, we won’t need a book called Women in Jazz. —Mindi Abair to the author, 2012 

Every single musician I interviewed for this book has thanked me for doing a project that focuses specifically on the contributions of women to the art of jazz music. Several interviewees told me they were pleased to discover that such a book was being written. This is very humbling for me since my respect for musicians, regardless of what kind of music they play, is such that I do not take for granted the time a player grants to me to discuss their work and personal history. That may sound like a line, but it’s not. Speaking now as a composer who is married to a classical singer and enjoys the friendship of several men and women who play, compose, and teach music, the day-to-day commitment of time, energy, and love required to produce art is not an abstract concept to me.

The project gained momentum very quickly. After my initial interview with Mindi Abair, who incidentally, does not identify herself as a “jazz” musician, although she has studied and played the music extensively throughout her musical life, I was able to quickly schedule conversations with Eliane Elias, Terri Lyne Carrington, and Jane Ira Bloom. Having the participation of musicians of this high of a caliber no doubt opened some doors for me as I contact¬ed the publicists and managers of other female artists. However, there were a handful of musicians who turned down my request for an interview for this book, the main reason being the book’s working title.

The working title of the book, Women in Jazz, struck a small number of musicians I approached as being out of date and even denigrating, considering the advances women in all industries have made in the 21st century. If women simply want to be considered as equals to their male counterparts in any industry, why single them out for a gender-specific book? If jazz is, as a [male] musician friend of mine put it, “the great equalizer,” then isn’t gender a non-issue? Either you can play or you can’t, simple as that. One well-known composer and bandleader I approached with my pitch said she was simply “burnt out” on participating in projects where the focus is on women. Another musician explained to me she does not define her creative work in terms of gender, genre, or skin color, and that participating in the project would only contribute to the regulation of her art. I should point out that the musicians who declined to be interviewed made it clear to me that their decision was a personal one and although they would not be participating, they looked forward to seeing such a book in print.

Speaking of gender, is there a place among “women in jazz” for a transgender man or woman? Does pianist and saxophonist Billy Tipton, born Dorothy Lucille Tipton in 1914, and who passed as a male both professionally and in private life, belong in a book called Women in Jazz? Tellingly, bassist Jennifer Leitham, born John Leitham, who is one of the finest jazz bass players in the world, thanked me at the end of her interview for focusing the majority of my questions on music instead of gender and including her in a book collection of conversations with so many inspiring women. The award-winning film I Stand Corrected (2012) documents Jennifer’s transition from John to Jennifer, a transition she bravely made at a peak in her career and with the support of such high-profile musical colleagues as trumpeter Doc Severinsen and singer Mel Tormé.

I believe I understand and empathize, to the best of my ability as a male, with these concerns about the working title of this book. I believe debating the currency of the words “women” or for that matter “jazz” is healthy and stimulating. But the fact is, very few books in print about jazz make an attempt to comprehensively acknowledge the contributions women have made and continue to make to the music. Judy Chaikin’s film The Girls in the Band is the only film I am aware of that, at the time of this writing, provides a comprehensive overview of women playing jazz in the U.S. from the late 1920s to the present day. There are a relatively small number of notable books that chronicle women musicians as trailblazers in the world of jazz, including Sherrie Tucker’s Swing Shift: “All-Girl” Bands of the 1940s; Kristin A. McGee’s Some Liked It Hot, which looks at all-girl bands from the 1920s through the 1950s; Linda Dahl’s Stormy Weather: The Music and Lives of a Century of Jazzwomen; Janis Stockhouse’s Women Jazz Musicians: Conversations with 21 Musicians; and Jan Leder’s Women in Jazz: A Discography of Instrumentalists, 1913-1968. (Leder, who is also a flutist, composer, and lyricist, is one of the women interviewed in this book.) Leslie Gourse’s 1996 book Madame Jazz: Contemporary Women Instrumentalists collects interviews with several young, contemporary female jazz musicians as well as women in the music business. There is also a growing catalog of academic writings on the subject of women in jazz.

However, male writers writing about the musical accomplishments of male musicians dominate the majority of jazz writing. A typical example is Reading Jazz: A Gathering of Autobiography, Reportage, and Criticism from 1919 to Now, compiled in 1996 by Robert Gottlieb, in which only 15 out of the 107 individual autobiographical excerpts, reportage, and critical essays are written by women or are about women in jazz.

So while some men and more than a few women believe a book about women in jazz is unnecessary, from my (male) perspective, I do not believe the book is going to do any musician a disservice, not from where I sit, and not at this point in history.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

November update

Whoa, it's been awhile since I've updated this blog. The main thing I've been focusing on is crafting an extended introduction to "Women In Jazz" that will provide a kind of historical context for the interviews that follow. Writing the introduction has been fun, but definitely challenging, in part because I realized quickly that somehow, I'd have to provide a (very) brief history of jazz music in the U.S. I do plan to post excerpts of this introduction in progress on this blog.

I interviewed a wonderful singer and composer named Malika Zarra for the book. You can find her music on iTunes,, and Spotify. "Berber Taxi" is excellent. The track "Leela" is one of my favorites from that album. I spoke to Malika via Skype while she was in her homeland of Morocco, which was kind of exciting for me. My first Skype call to Africa!

Thank you for supporting this work-in-progress. I also post updates and fun content on the Women In Jazz Facebook page, so check that out and give the page a proverbial "like" if you are so inclined. Have a wonderful November everyone.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Cats vs. Chicks

From 1954. Kind of silly, but fun. The cover alone is an amazing artifact.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Research for the introduction to Women In Jazz

Shoulders are tense, back hurts, eyes are glazed over...I am maybe two-thirds of the way through completing the first draft of what will be the introduction to my book Women In Jazz. It's actually going really well, much quicker than I had anticipated, probably because I have over two years of interviews to draw upon as a resource for the introduction. (I'm also revisiting a lot of great books, many of which will end up in the "Notes" and/or a bibliography for the book.)

Anyway, back to writing...

(Oh, before I forget. Please consider giving the Women In Jazz Facebook page a "like." It's actually a great way to support the project, and enjoy some relevant and fun content I post related to the book.)

Friday, September 20, 2013

September update

I am now focused on writing what may be a 20-30 page introduction to Women In Jazz. A few more interviews are scheduled for the book, I'm up to 31 at the moment and plan to stop somewhere between 33 and 35, and I am behind on transcribing a handful of interviews I've already conducted. However, I believe that focusing my energy on completing an introduction to the book is crucial at this stage of the project since once it is completed, the introduction will help put forth an argument to potential publishers for the book's very existence.

Writing the introduction is also allowing me the opportunity to discover and illuminate themes that have recurred over the course of conducting these interviews. I wouldn't have those themes without first having done over two years of research and interviews. Now that may sound backwards, but I didn't go into this project with any agenda other than to speak to musicians who happened to be women about, well, music. And yet strangely, especially given the diversity in age, musical style, and ethnic background among the 30 plus interviewees, some strong, recurring themes have emerged. I'll write more about all of this at a later date.

Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of interviewing electronic artist and percussionist Val Jeanty for the book. As a composer and musician who uses the laptop and recording studio as my main instruments, I felt it was very important to include an electronic artist among the book's interviewees. Born and raised in Haiti, Jeanty has collaborated and performed onstage with some incredible state-side jazz musicians, including Geri Allen, Craig Taborn, Steve Coleman, and Terri Lyne Carrington. Her own music is multi-layered, very painterly and very poetic, and often references Vodou as well as jazz music's ethnological roots. You can check out her work on Soundcloud as well as on her own website.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Firey String Company presents Song Book 1: The Blues Series

I had a great time interviewing cellist and composer NiokaWorkman for my "Women In Jazz" book project. Nioka's Firey String Sistas! has just released a CD/book set titled "Firey Strings Company Song Book 1: The Blues Series!" The set features jazz, blues, and new songs that can be enjoyed by the entire family.

The cover art is painted by award winning children’s illustrator Brian Pinkey. The music was recorded on June 2013 at Peter Karl Studios. Engineer: Peter Karl. Producers: Nioka Workman and Melissa Slocum.

Firey String Sistas!
Megan Atchley-violin
Maryam Blacksher-viola
Nioka Workman-cello
Melissa Slocum-bass

FSCO Song Book 1: The Blues Series now available at

Friday, July 12, 2013

Monday, June 17, 2013

Diane Schuur

Now listening. Working hard to come up with questions for singer and pianist Diane Schuur, a musician was gigging before she was a teenager, that she hasn't been asked a thousand times before. Here's a musician who definitely had to battle her demons and came through the fire stronger than ever. She most definitely wears her heart on her sleeve both when she's singing and in the interviews I've watched online. I'm very honored to be interviewing her for the Women In Jazz book project.

This 1987 album Diane did with the Count Basie Orchestra (pictured below) is excellent, by the way. Beautifully arranged, played, and of course sung and beautifully recorded. The energy level is so high, and that energy isn't easy to capture on a recording. It remained 33 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard jazz charts and won a Grammy.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Mazz Swift

Violinist and singer Mazz Swift
Summer approaches, and interviews for my Women In Jazz book project continue. Next up, violinist and singer Mazz Swift, who I first heard awhile back on a recording by the New York-based, internationally renowned collective Burnt Sugar. Swift reappeared on my radar playing strings for my friend singer songwriter Mark Lesseraux on his beautiful cover of the Brian Eno classic "Burning Airlines Give You So Much More." Swift's current musical projects alternately embrace Irish and Celtic influences, Hungarian folk music, the music of 1920s and 1930s American string bands, collective electric jazz funk, and free improvisation. Swift is a native New Yorker, graduate of the High School of the Performing Arts, and attended The Juilliard School of Music. I'm really looking forward to our conversation. There's a lot to talk about!

Many of the up and coming musicians I've interviewed for this project, Nicole Rampersaud, Jean Cook, and Samantha Boshnack, are transcending and inventing their own musical genres. Jazz in the 21st century is embracing an unprecedented number of cultural and historical influences, and the music of Rampersaud, Cook, Boshnack, and most definitely Mazz Swift reflects this.

What exactly is jazz? Considering the definition of that often contentious word is one of the recurring themes in these interviews...

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Dee Dee Bridgewater

Dee Dee Bridgewater photo by Mark Higashino
I'll be interviewing singer extraordinaire Dee Dee Bridgewater for the Women In Jazz book project, and I'm a bit nervous! The scope of this woman's repertoire and range of abilities is truly amazing. She's a born performer. If you haven't seen her live you're really missing something.

Fortunately for my nerves, I actually interviewed Bridgewater back in 2012 in advance of her Da Camera of Houston performance. I was lucky enough to talk with her on the phone and attend her concert, which was wonderful. This time around, I'll be focusing on questions that address a few of the themes that are recurring in the interviews I'm conducting for this book. With an artist like Bridgewater, there's sooo much to talk about. Narrowing it down to a few subjects is truly the challenge.

More news is coming as I continue transcribing interviews and shaping what will be the final version of this book. If you have a second, please give the Women In Jazz Facebook page a proverbial "like." Your support is truly appreciated.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Connie Crothers

Jazz pianist Connie Corthers (photo by Cheryl Richards)
Next up, I'll be interviewing pianist Connie Crothers for the Women In Jazz book project. The list of musicians she's performed and/or recorded with include master drummer Max Roach, clarinetist Bill Payne, bassist Michael Bisio, bassist Henry Grimes, saxophonist Jemeel Moondoc, saxophonist Warne Marsh, trumpet player Roy Campbell, electroacoustic improviser Ben Manley and many, many others. She is sort of a bridge between a lot of the artists I've already interviewed for the book, in part because of her formidable skill at playing standard repertoire and improvising freely. In a 2006 essay Crothers writes, "Free improvisation and playing from tunes is like a conversation in the creating improvisation opens up creative possibilities that come up naturally during the course of an improvised solo in a tune. On the other hand, free improvisation benefits from an interaction with the connection of form and feeling that you can only get with a great tune."

Much of her recorded work is available through the cooperative label New Artist Records. The video below was shot at Crothers' recent performance at the New York City new music venue Roulette.

I've heard Crothers describe jazz as "an evolving art form," which is such an interesting statement, and a concept I hope to dig into a bit during our interview. Having spoken to 24 musicians and counting for this project, a collective, multifaceted definition of that often contentious word "jazz" has emerged, which is good news for young people just beginning their own musical journeys into the world of improvised music. The evolution Crothers speaks of is happening now, and where this music will be 10, 20, or 50 years from now is anybody's guess. Many things are changing, and changing now, right at this moment. Give Crother's music a listen to get an idea of where we've been, where we're at, and what each of us individually and collectively has the potential to become.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Two more Women In Jazz interviews for March...

Next up, I'll be interviewing two extremely creative musicians for the Women In Jazz book project, trumpeter and composer Samantha Boshnack and trumpeter and composer Nicole Rampersaud. Both are at ease is a variety of musical idioms, including jazz, free improvisation, and contemporary composition. They've each developed their own unique vernacular, and the scope of their respective projects is a bit overwhelming. And really, they're both just getting started. It may be that they're not so much redefining what it means to play jazz, but simply playing what jazz is in the 21st century.

Nicole Rampersaud
Toronto-based trumpeter, composer, and educator Nicole Rampersaud's has played with some incredible artists, including Anthony Braxton, Bob Brookmeyer, Evan Parker, Rakalam Bob Moses, Joe Morris, and many others. She performed in the New York premier of Anthony Braxton's Composition #103 for Seven Choreographed and Costumed Trumpets with Braxton conducting. Her upcoming projects include a recording of compositions for her quintet co-led with saxophonist Evan Shaw to be released on Barnyard Records.

Samantha Boshnack (photo by Daniel Sheehan)
Keyboardist, composer Wayne Horovitz has this to say about trumpeter and composer Samantha Boshnack: "Sam’s music is a blast, sometimes literally. She plays with all her heart and her projects are always about pushing herself, without a lot of concern for what’s “important” right now or where the “envelope” is. That’s something I admire in an artist. There are a lot of musicians in (Seattle), but Sam is a musician and an artist."

Boshnack leads to ensembles dedicated to performing her compositions, the Sam Boshnack Quintet and the truly awesome "alternative chamber orchestra" B'shnorkestra.

There's a lot more to be said about these two, but for the book, I will let the musicians do the talking. As always, thanks for your support of this project.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

March update for Women In Jazz: Jane Monheit and Cheryl Bentyne

VERY exciting month ahead for the Women In Jazz book project. I'll be interviewing singer Jane Monheit for the book, which is exciting and opens up the door to more even more in depth discussion for the book about the voice, jazz, and the current state of the still-changing music industry. The breadth of artistry that exists among women singing jazz is staggering. Put on a record by Billie Holiday and then one by Ella Fitzgerald and you know exactly what I'm talking about. The process of crafting an interview that taps into and presents to the reader the unique perspective of an individualistic  singer (or any musician) is part of the challenge with a project like this.

Monheit has a new album coming out in April that expands her repertoire further to include compositions well outside of the American songbook, and I look forward to talking with her about this intriguing step she's taking with her music.

Also ahead this month, an interview for the book with the extraordinary singer Cheryl Bentyne, one of the four members of the jazz vocal quartet Manhattan Transfer. Bentyne has always sung an extraordinary range of musical styles with formidable technique and feeling. In an age of one-note singers, lip-syncing as the standard for quality, and pointless pyrotechnics (vocal or otherwise), it's refreshing for me to hear the musicality, emotional power, and range of expression among all the singers I've been lucky to interview for the book (including Carmen Lundy, and Sofia Rei, to name just a few). Every voice is unique.

Much more news to come. Thank you for your support.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Women In Jazz update for February

The Women In Jazz book project continues. I'm busy transcribing interviews that I've already conducted for the book and contacting a second round of musicians to see if they'd like to participate in the project. As I confirm interviewees, I'll update this blog and the Women In Jazz Facebook page.

This week I'll be interviewing New York City-based bassist and composer Iris Ornig (pictured left). Ornig's latest CD No Restrictions is a beautifully recorded program of original compositions and two covers (Bjork's "Venus as a Boy" and Michael Jackson's "The Way You Make Me Feel") arranged for a quintet that includes Helen Sung (piano), Kurt Rosenwinkel (guitar), Mike Rodriguez (trumpet), and Marcus Gilmore (drums). The quintet's sound is a nice hybrid of electric and acoustic textures, and each member has a very distinctive sound. I look forward to talking to Ornig about this band, as well as what compelled her as a young musician to begin playing upright bass and explore the world of jazz music.

More news to come. And as always, thank you for supporting this project.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Pamela York's CD Downbeat editor's pick for January 2013; Sofia Rei's brand new CD reviewed

Happy 2013. Houston pianist Pamela York's latest CD Lay Down This World: Hymns and Spirituals is a Downbeat Magazine editor's pick for January 2013. I interviewed Pamela both for the Women In Jazz book project and for this blog. The blog interview focuses on the new CD, and you can check out my article about Pamela below.

Vocalist, composer, and band leader Sofia Rei, another Women In Jazz interviewee, is getting some great press for her brand new CD De Tierra y Oro. You can check out a recent review here. Sofia's music is such a unique amalgam of styles, cultures, and histories. If you haven't checked her out, well take a look at the video below.

Happy to say I've gotten a lot done with transcribing the interviews conducted thus far for the book, but I still have about half a dozen to go. A new round of interviews will take place beginning in February, so stay tuned. And thanks for your support!