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Women in Jazz: On and Off the Concert Stage

Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra 2021-2022 Series

Evening Program

Thursday, June 16, 2022 - 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET
Code: 1P0749
This online program is presented on Zoom.
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Materials for this program

Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra in concert at the National Museum of American History (Photo: Jaclyn Nash)

For much of the 20th century, jazz was commonly documented through the stories about male musicians and their contributions to the growth and importance of the genre.

As for female jazz musicians, their contributions were as significant, but they were mostly underrecognized or customarily seen as a vocalist or pianist.

Women in jazz—from educators to performers, and conductors to producers—have struggled for equal recognition. They get their due in a lecture-concert presentation featuring Charlie Young, SJMO’s artistic director and professor of jazz studies at Howard University. Young highlights the contributions of some of the leading women in jazz as the SJMO performs music they’ve made famous: pianist, composer, and writer Marian McPartland (“Ambiance”); pianist, composer, and band leader Toshiko Akiyoshi (“March of the Tadpoles)”; and saxophonist, arranger, and educator (and SJMO member) Leigh Pilzer (“East Coast Andy”).

Other Programs with 2021-2022 Series

About SJMO

Whether as a 17-member big band, quartet, septet, or small group, SJMO presents concerts featuring transcribed works, new arrangements, commissioned pieces, and programs that illuminate the work of the masters who contributed to the development of American jazz and defined the music’s character.

Under artistic director and conductor Charlie Young, SJMO has celebrated some of the greatest jazz music throughout its 31-year history. The 2021–2022 season promises to bring the best of jazz to audiences through both virtual and in-person concerts. Special guests join the ensemble to guide audiences through the fascinating history and stories that surround this truly American musical form.

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