Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice Introduces New Standards
Since its founding in 2018, the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice has promoted equity, not only in the jazz genre but in the greater artistic world. On September 15, Hal Leonard and Berklee Press will release the book New Standards: 101 Lead Sheets by Women Composers, consisting of compositions that supplement and offer alternatives to the jazz-standards canon that has served students, teachers, and professionals for decades. New Standards is a monumental publication and effort led by Terri Lyne Carrington, a multi-Grammy-winning artist, NEA Jazz Master, and the institute's founder and artistic director.
The tunes that make up New Standards span nearly a century, from Lil Hardin Armstrong's work composed in 1922 to songs written by recent graduates of the institute in 2021. It features 101 compositions by a host of jazz titans, young visionaries, and unsung heroes: Mary Lou Williams, Alice Coltrane, esperanza spalding B.M. ’05, Geri Allen, Maria Schneider, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Cassandra Wilson, Dorothy Ashby, Nubya Garcia, Nicole Mitchell, and many others. New Standards also celebrates the music of global jazz artists from around the world, from Chilean tenor saxophonist Melissa Aldana B.M. ’09 to Japanese American pianist Toshiko Akiyoshi ’59 and other international composers.
In conjunction with the publication of this historic book, Carrington will release the album new STANDARDS vol. 1 from Candid Records on September 16. This star-studded recording features special guests Ambrose Akinmusire, Melanie Charles, Ravi Coltrane, Val Jeanty, Samara Joy, Julian Lage ’08, Michael Mayo, Elena Pinderhughes, Dianne Reeves, Nêgah Santos B.M. '15, and Somi, backed by a core band of Carrington (drums), Kris Davis (piano), Linda May Han Oh (bass), Nicholas Payton (trumpet), and Matthew Stevens B.M. ’04 (guitar). Produced by Carrington and Stevens, the album is the first in a series of releases; Carrington’s goal is to record all 101 pieces from the new songbook.
Starting the weekend of October 14–15, the Carr Center in Detroit, Michigan, will debut an exhibition on New Standards as a part of the Jazz Without Patriarchy Project. The six-week multidisciplinary exhibition will focus on New Standards and the impact of women and underrepresented luminaries on jazz and will include musical performances, educational initiatives, panel discussions, and a variety of programming at eight venues.