Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice Celebrates New Standards by Women Composers

By 
Eugene Ahn
January 21, 2020
Press release
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Terri Lyne Carrington, Kris Davis, Linda May Han Oh, and more will perform selections from New Standards, an upcoming e-book of pieces composed by women, on February 5 at Cafe 939.

Terri Lyne Carrington
Kris Davis
Linda May Han Oh
Image courtesy of the artist
Image courtesy of the artist
Image courtesy of the artist

Students representing the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice will perform with jazz greats Terri Lyne Carrington, Kris Davis, and Linda May Han Oh on February 5 at the Red Room at Cafe 939. Tickets are $10 for the general public (standing room only), and are available now.

The performance will include songs featured in New Standards, the institute’s upcoming e-book of women composers including Mary Lou Williams, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Tia Fuller, Esperanza Spalding, and others.

“I noticed that when we play standards, old or new, most often there are no women represented as music composers. I feel this book will address that, offering a large curated group of songs for students, professionals, and educators to access and add to their repertoire,” says Carrington. “This highlights our philosophy that the music will only live up to its full potential when gender equity is a guiding principle.”

“With the growth of jazz education, many music students are being shaped by repertoire and information they receive from educational books and tutorial videos,” says Oh. “When that information is somewhat limited in terms of who is being represented, this can be problematic and limits the scope of possibilities within the music. In my mind, this is detrimental to the music. This book will include some challenging ideas and music they have not been exposed to, bringing them to new heights.”

Carrington is the founder and creative director of the institute, and a multiple Grammy-winning drummer, producer, and educator. She was 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. The institute explores the role jazz plays in the larger struggle for gender justice, with the aim to recruit, teach, mentor, and advocate for musicians seeking to study jazz with gender equity as a guiding principle. Understanding that the jazz industry remains predominantly male due to a historically biased system, the goal is to modify the way jazz is perceived and presented, so the future of jazz looks different from its past, without rendering many of the art form’s creative contributors invisible. Carrington received the 2019 Doris Duke Artist Award in jazz for her accomplishments as an artist, producer, and educator.

Davis, associate program director of creative development for the institute, was named the 2017 Rising Star Pianist and 2018 Rising Star Artist in DownBeat magazine. To date, Davis has released 12 recordings as a leader. Her most recent release, Diatom Ribbons, made the New York Times, Boston Globe, and NPR lists of the best albums of 2019. The recipient of the Doris Duke Impact award in 2015, Davis has collaborated with artists such as John Zorn, Tyshawn Sorey, Julian Lage, and many more. 

Listen to Kris Davis break down a track from her acclaimed album Diatom Ribbons:

Oh is an associate professor in Berklee’s Bass Department, and the recipient of the 2018 and 2019 Bassist of the Year award from the Jazz Journalists Association. She is also the recipient of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers Young Jazz Composers Award, and has performed at venues such as the Hollywood Bowl and Prague Castle, as well as the iconic Village Vanguard in New York City, Ronnie Scott’s in London, and the Blue Note Milano.  

The performance will be webcast live from WBGO in high-definition video, as part of WBGO’s the Checkout—Live at Berklee multimedia concert series.

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