Location, Space, and Women In Jazz

Family Influence, First Exposure to Music, Birth Place


Genevieve Rose was born in Massachusetts in 1976, and began playing guitar at 8 years old. She believes her MA public high school provided her with several  jazz opportunities. She took lessons with a local instructor. Rose’s family was very involved in her musical life from an early standpoint. “My mother’s been always very supportive of whatever instrument that I wanted to play. And I think that she’s happy as long as I’m happy”. While rose learned to play guitar, her brother learned to play the piano. Despite influence from her parents to learn the guitar,  Rose didn’t decide to pursue music as a career until she got involved with the bass and jazz music. Rose had no formal lessons on the bass, but was able to excel due to her intensive musical background.


Bloom was born in Boston, MA in 1955. Bloom was fortunate in that she lived right outside of Boston. While growing up, she had access to several amazing musical professional such as Harvey Steinburg, who helped her map out her career in jazz. In addition, location played a remarkable role in the success of her career when she attended college in New Haven. In the mid 70s, New Haven was a very “vibrant jazz scene” with highly regarded innovative  jazz musicians which provided Bloom many opportunities to train and learn with talented, like-minded, musicians. Jane Ira Bloom was first exposed to music around 4 years old. She studied piano with Harvey Steinberg, an extremely influential pianist. At home, Jane Ira Bloom was exposed to music through a grand collection of records consisting of Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington and other songs from the American Songbook. To her parents, Bloom’s career path was a mystery; however, they “were happy that I was doing what I wanted to do”. Her father had some spanish in him, which she believed could contribute to some of her stylistics complementing a spanish tone.



Joanne Brackeen was born in Ventura California in 1938. Ventura used to be a good atmosphere before she was born, however, there was still reminiscents of the culture.  While she was still in her adolescence, the late 1930s and 1940s were a time of change in Los Angeles. The boom of Hollywood was eminent. Women were also breaking gender roles, seeking a more reckless and vivacious way of life. The notion of seeking interests was more encouraged and the opportunities to do so were more available.While still in her teens in La Brackeen had already met and played with Scott LaFaro, Charlie Haden, Don Cherry, Billy Higgins, Charles Lloyd, Bobby Hutcherson, Dexter Gordon, and Art Farmer. She is quoted as saying, “ I always had a feeling that I wanted to be in New York, since I was six years old.” Her career really began to solidify when she moved to New York in 1965, there she was exposed and had multiple chances to play with well known other Jazz musicians at the time. In New York she,” met and played with such well-known musicians as Paul Chambers, Sonny Stitt, Woody Shaw, Lee Konitz and George Benson. She has gone on to perform and/or record with many more greats over the years, including Pharoah Sanders, Dave Liebman, Freddie Hubbard and Dave Holland.” (Joanne Brackeen Jazz) New york was her true opening. She began to find herself in her own style and her desires and goals for her career. Joanne Brackeen was first was introduced to the genre of Jazz when she was 11 years old. She was infatuated with albums from Frankie Clare. She was completely self taught. Using her exceptional auditory skills and was able to translate what she heard into playing, without any previous knowledge or lesson about music. By 12 years old she actively performing and making a name for herself.  At the age of 16 her two focal points of influence were Charlie Parker and Bud Powell. Brackeen was more influenced by Frankie Carle, than anyone else in her family. After six months learning the notes for notes, she knew how to play the piano.


Vi Redd was born in Los Angeles in 1928, exposing her to many jazz influences passing through the city at that time. She remembers musicians performing in her living room at a young age--furthering her musical education at a young age. first exposed to music during her formative years by her father, who was one of the leading figures on the Central Avenue jazz scene. Her great aunt, Alma Hightower an educator and performer of and with many musical greats, was another important musical mentor in her early life. At the age of five, she accompanied her aunt to sing at the First Day AME Church in Los Angeles. It wasn’t until she was about twelve or thirteen years old that she started playing the saxophone, when her great aunt gave her a horn and taught her how to play. Redd’s family was very influential in her quest to become a jazz musician. At an early age, Redd was exposed to an array of records by artists such as Duke Ellington, Nat King Cole and many others. In addition, her paternal great aunt acted as one her most influential musical mentors.


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