Jazz Instruments and Their Women

Introduction to Jazz Instruments and Their Women Archive

Welcome to the Jazz Instruments and Their Women archive! After a semester full of work, we are excited to share our findings with our users!

Jazz Instruments and Their Women seeks to tell the stories of 8 successful jazz musicians. The archive contains 8 biographies on the artists we chose to highlight. Within these biographies, users can find information about each respective artists' life on and off center stage. The goal of this project is to allow users to understand and appreciate the different experiences women in jazz had based on the instrument she played. The archive provides its users with biographies that are categorized by the instrument the musician plays. Jazz Instruments and Their Women focuses on vocalists, drummers, pianists and saxophonists. Each category contains two musicians. Since the archive also attempts to highlight the different experiences women jazz artists had in relation to their race, we chose to include one black female artist and one white female artists per instrument. As a result, we highlight 4 black female artists and 4 white female artists. 

There are many features included in this archive. Every artist has a textual biography. The bulk of this textual biography derives from the information gathered from the Hamilton College Fillius Jazz Archive. Along with textual biographies found on each page in this archive, one can also find video clippings of interviews of each artist from the Hamilton College Fillius Jazz Archive. The archive attempts to provide its users with all necessary information to fully understand the life of each musician. As such, we invite users to listen to the audio clips of each musician’s music that can be found on each artists’ page. By providing this information to the archive’s users, we hope that users will be able to make their own interpretations, have their own reactions and draw their own conclusions to the metadata. 

Finally, as part of this project we wanted implement an alternative methodology of digital humanities. The method we chose to highlight was spatial humanities. Given our attempts to fully portray and illuminate the life of each artist, we thought it would be interesting to map each musicians’ life. As such, on each page you can find a map highlight the route of that respective artists’ life. The map includes both a linear path and information about each pin-point or each significant location. Our original intentions were to make these maps interactive, as many spatial humanities project attempt to accomplish. However, given our lack of time and expertise, we decided the maps that we created would be the basic plan of what a spatial humanities project would hope to accomplish. So, while not necessarily interactive, the maps do provide valuable information and allow the users to learn more about the musicians by being able to place each musician in specific locations. 

On the last few pages you can find the sources we used along with the process we went through to create this project. The process page is a great resource to understand the intricacies necessary to create your own project. Also, if you are interested in further information, we suggest you look at our sources page to find out more information. Below you will find the Table of Contents. We welcome you to check any path that interests you, or simply press "Continue" and follow the path of this archive!

We hope you enjoy your experience with Jazz Instruments and Their Women!


  1. Introduction to Jazz Instruments and Their Women Archive
  2. Project Thesis
  3. Introduction to Women in Jazz
  4. Vocalists:
    Dianne Reeves and Rebecca Kilgore
  5. Pianists:
    Jane Jarvis and Marian McPartland
  6. Saxophonists:
    Jane Ira Bloom and Vi Redd
  7. Drummers:
    Sherrie Maricle and Terri Lyne Carrington
  8. Aggregate Map of all Musicians' Lives
  9. Process
  10. Sources

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