Monday, August 17, 2015

Freedom of Expression: Interviews With Women in Jazz released November 16, 2015



Freedom of Expression: Interviews With Women in Jazz, a collection of interviews with 37 female musicians of all ages, nationalities, and races and representing nearly every style of jazz one can imagine, was released November 16, 2015.

You can purchase the book via Amazon or CreateSpace.

The interviewees, including Terri Lyne Carrington, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Eliane Elias, Anat Cohen, Helen Sung, Diane Schuur, Ellen Seeling, Val Jeanty, Carmen Lundy, Mindi Abair, Cheryl Bentyne, Jane Ira Bloom, Sharel Cassity, Connie Crothers, Jane Monheit, and Sherrie Maricle, speak about their earliest experiences playing music, the years of practice and study required to become a professional musician, and what it means to be a jazz musician in the 21st century. The 320-page book includes a 25-page history of jazz, as well as introductions to each interview, to provide helpful context for readers who are unaware of the contributions by women to the development of this music.

"In the years since the arrival of the 21st century, jazz has evolved into a truly cross-generational, multicultural musical art form that is assimilating an unprecedented array of musical styles and techniques. At the same time, the male-dominated paradigm that has defined the historical narrative of jazz is no more. Women are shaking up the music industry while the general public is becoming much more aware of the contributions female musicians have made to the art of jazz since its inception. Freedom of Expression: Interviews with Women in Jazz documents this profound evolution." — Chris Becker

Review copies, interview requests: beckeresque at gmail dot com

"At long last, an in-depth recognition of the female contributions to jazz.  As Dr. Billy Taylor said about the lack of awareness of female musicians: ‘If it isn't written down, it didn't happen.’ Now everyone will know that it did happen and continues to happen. What a great gift to the history of women and music." — Judy Chaikin, director of the award-winning documentary The Girls in the Band

“This is a truly welcomed work to be added to the annals of jazz’s oral histories. Chris Becker shows great care, respect and benevolence for women artists, too often ignored, who have contributed much to creation of this music and who continue to push the genre forward by all means necessary.” – Janice Rhoshalle Littlejohn, journalist and director-producer of But Can She Play?: Blowin’ The Roof Off Women Horn Players and Jazz

"Finally, a comprehensive HERstory of jazz music! Each of the women interviewed in this book have created strong musical identities while operating under the radar for far too many years. Thanks to Chris Becker, the world can discover the inner workings and creative lives of these fine, deserving jazzwomen. This book is a riveting read . . . an exciting journey into the mind of female genius." — Rachel Z., composer, keyboardist (Steps Ahead, Larry Coryell, Wayne Shorter, Peter Gabriel)

Front cover star: Connie Crothers
Photograph by Peter Gannushkin

Women In Jazz: The Interviewees
Mindi Abair
Saxophones
Cheryl Bentyne
Voice
Jane Ira Bloom
Soprano Saxophone
Samantha Boshnack
Trumpet
Dee Dee Bridgewater
Voice
Terri Lyne Carrington
Drums
Sharel Cassity
Saxophones
Anat Cohen
Clarinet, Saxophones
Jean Cook
Violin
Connie  Crothers
Piano
Eliane Elias
Piano, Voice
Ayelet Rose Gottlieb
Voice
Lenae Harris
Cello
Val Jenty
Electronics
Jan Leder
Flute
Jennifer Leitham
Double Bass
Carmen Lundy
Voice
Sherrie Maricle
Drums
Jane Monheit
Voice
Jacqui Naylor
Voice
Aurora Nealand
Saxophones, Clarinet
Iris Ornig
Double Bass
Alisha Pattillo
Tenor Saxophone
Roberta Piket
Piano
Cheryl Pyle
Flute
Nichole Rampersaud
Trumpet
Sofia Rei
Voice
Patrizia Scascitelli
Piano
Diane Schuur
Voice
Ellen Seeling
Trumpet
Helen Sung
Piano
Jacqui Sutton
Voice
Mazz Swift
Violin, Voice
Nioka Workman
Cello
Pamela York
Piano
Brandee Younger
Harp
Malika Zarra
Voice


About the Author
Chris Becker has written about all styles of music for several print and online publications, including Culturemap Houston, Houston Press. All About Jazz, and Sequenza 21. He is also an active composer of music for dance, film, and mixed-media installations.