The Hamilton College Jazz Archives, as well as several other archives and historical timelines clearly lack the presence of female jazz musicians in comparison with male jazz musicians. The truth of the matter is that women have been very present in jazz dating back to the birth of the genre of music; however, sexism and racism have kept female jazz musicians out of the media for far too long.
There is a large movement to re-publish women’s jazz music recordings and films to shed light on forgotten or untold stories of female jazz musicians. As a group, we want to contribute to this movement by examining the factors that lead women to ultimately choose a career in jazz.
In order to do so,our group focused on four women, from four different generations: Jane Ira Bloom, Vi Redd, Joanne Brackeen and Genevieve Rose. We sought out to find similarities and differences between the four women throughout their childhood and leading into their young adulthood. More specifically, we focused on birthplace, family influence, innate passion for music, education, and additional private instruction. We found that, in all four women, location coincided with privilege, and provided these musicians with the opportunities to pursue their dreams of becoming a jazz musician. All these factors set the foundation for what these women built their careers on. All these woman found different niches in the Jazz world. Through their affinity for the Jazz narrative, their love for the sounds, and the creativity to explore a boundless world, these women became and still are pioneers and revolutionaries in their field of work.