Jazz Instruments and Their Women


Our work related to Jazz Instruments and their Women started primarily in class. First, we took the time to plan our overall approach and division of responsibility. We did this by creating a storyboard of the project. On this story board, we came up with research questions, proposed thesis statement, women artists in the archive we wanted to research and instruments we wanted to highlight. Once we completed this, we determined the best way to divide the work was to each choose one of the four instruments we wanted to evaluate. Since we had four group members, each member chose to research one instrument and two women who played that instrument. Using the storyboard layout, we planned the lineage of our project. We decided which pages would go where and what we wanted on each of those respective pages. Collectively we decided that we wanted to represent one white artist and one black artist for each instrument. This would allow us to incorporate race into our project. The women were selected from a list of women that played each instrument. In some cases, there were only two options so deciding which women to research was simple. In cases where there were many women from whom to chose, we tried to chose women who were artists in the same era. Noah was assigned vocalists and chose research Dianne Reeves and Rebecca Kilgore. Claire was assigned saxophonists and chose to research Jane Ira Bloom and Vi Redd. Isaiah was assigned pianists and chose to research Jane Jarvis and Jeannie Cheathem. Nilesh was assigned drummers and chose to research Sherrie Maricle and Terri Lynn Carrington. Noah also functioned as our team leader, monitored our group's overall progress, and kept track of what yet needed to be accomplished. As a team we familiarized ourselves with Scalar so that when the research process was complete, executing the digitalization of the data was not an issue. Noah and Isaiah took the lead on teaching the group how to use Scalar.


The next phase of our project was the research phase. For the most part, the group members broke apart and did our own research. We all agreed that our first step would be to watch the interview while following along with the transcript. We determined that this would be a great initial source of information. Upon completing the interview and clipping the interview and adding some musical effect using Quicktime, and iMovie, we determined that outside sources were essential to providing further information about each artist to the database’s users. In many cases, the interviews did not provide substantial information about the artists, and, as a result, outside sources were used to complement the interview. We did attempt to constantly update the Google Drive folder with all of our research, however, this did not go as well as we would’ve hoped. However, we all ended up with biographies on each artist, a clipped up version of the interview and audio clips of the artists’ music.


The third step of the project was implementing the data, which was collected during the research phase, onto Scalar. For the most part this process went very smoothly. The group was quick to establish deadlines for when the data collection process should be completed so that if any problems with implementing the data onto scalar were to arise, we would have ample time to address those problems. However, group members easily adapted to the new software. If any issues arose, group members were quick to help each other out. We all tried to maintain the same look to each of our pages so that UI (user interface) would be constant throughout the project. As a result, we created one page (the vocalist page) as a template for what the other pages should resemble.

After placing all the data onto Scalar, it was time to present to the class. Noah created a powerpoint slide, which contained the main elements of the project. This presentation included our research thesis and questions, alternative DH method used, race and gender and its impact in our project, history of women and jazz, and our sources. The project was presented to the class and after receiving great feedback, we went back and edited the final version of our project.

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