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Women in Jazz

The 2019 Ribble Valley Jazz and Blues Festival provided the launchpad for our Women in Jazz project. This combines tuition and improvisation opportunities for women, some of whom are just starting to explore composition and improvisation.

The sessions provide a positive environment in which to start to play in public. The sessions have generated a strong network of support for women as they find their voice in public jazz jams, community bands and also in jazz promotion. So performance style, stagecraft and confidence in finding your own voice to contribute to the jazz dialogue are essential features of the project.

The participants in our Women in Jazz sessions often share news of new female performers who have given them inspiration, as well as discovering names of women who had a great influenced on jazz in their day, and whose names are often forgotten.

Equality-is-not-a-pieThe project has served as a catalyst to the club to join the PRS Keychange project.  This challenges arts organisations to pledge to reach evident levels of equal participation in their activities.  In 2019, Ribble Valley Jazz and Blues joined the campaign with the following goals:

  • To include at least one women/transgender/non-binary person in 50% of its ticketed gigs in its festival programme.
  • Work towards achieving the 50:50 pledge in its programming of performers in the Ribble Valley, achieving 50% representation by May 2022.
  • Address 50:50 gender balance in the numbers of young people and adults engaged in music education and community music making, as evidenced in its evaluation of the 2021 festival in August 2021.
  • Achieve 50:50 gender balance in its team of volunteers, including Trustee and committee roles as well as practical roles which include gig stewarding and evaluation, as evidenced in its evaluation of the 2021 festival in August 2021.

Success or otherwise will be reported to the Keychange organisers on a regular basis.

More information about this project can be obtained from Sue Bradley, Ribble Valley Jazz and Blues email: info@rvjazzandblues.co.uk