Berklee Announces Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice
Berklee College of Music will launch the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice this fall, beginning with an open house on Tuesday, October 30. The institute will focus on equity in the jazz field and on the role that jazz can play in the larger struggle for gender justice. It will also celebrate the contributions women have made to the development of the art form, and frame more equitable conditions for all pursuing careers in jazz in an effort to work towards a necessary and lasting cultural shift in the field.
Terri Lyne Carrington B.M. ’83, ‘03H, a multiple Grammy Award–winning drummer, producer, and educator, is the founder and artistic director of the Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice. Carrington made history as the first woman to win a Grammy Award in the Best Jazz Instrumental Album category for Money Jungle: Provocative in Blue, a reimagining of the Duke Ellington classic. She also serves as the Zildjian Chair in Performance for the Berklee Global Jazz Institute and is artistic director of Berklee’s Summer Jazz Workshop.
The jazz industry remains predominantly male due to a historically biased system, imposing a significant toll on women who aspire to work in it. In understanding the importance of balance and equity, the goal of the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice is to do corrective work and modify the way jazz is perceived and presented, so the future of jazz looks different than its past, without rendering invisible many of the art forms’ creative contributors. The institute will welcome students of all gender and sexual identities to achieve the goal of true gender diversity in the field. It will work to address gender inequities at the college through curriculum, recruitment, residencies, performances, research, and community engagement.
“I am proud to serve as the founder and artistic director for the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice,” said Carrington. “Now more than ever, jazz musicians, educators, presenters, and practitioners must turn their attention to inclusivity in the creative and performance processes to incorporate more women and gender non-binary artists and professionals for the further development of the art form. This institute will address injustices in jazz through research projects and performance-based programs that will allow students of all gender identities to collaborate, learn, and grow as artists within the Berklee community and beyond.”
On Tuesday, October 30, the Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice will host an open house for Berklee and the larger Boston community. The event will kick off with an address by visiting scholar Farah Jasmine Griffin, followed by a roundtable discussion, breakout sessions, and film screening at David Friend Recital Hall. The open house will conclude with a reception at Cafe 939, featuring performances by Carrington, Lizz Wright, Tia Fuller, Kris Davis, Val Jeanty, in addition to a special Berklee ensemble created for the launch of the institute.