The Bedford-Stuyvesant area of Brooklyn is preparing to welcome esteemed jazz musicians as they gear up for the 17th Annual Central Brooklyn Jazz Festival. This year, music lovers can enjoy a special event on Saturday entitled “Jazz! The Women’s Viewpoint”, which pays tribute to the wide range of vocalists and musicians who happen to also be female.
According to DNAinfo, the program’s organizers recognize the significance of this effort. “A lot of people know that women don’t really have a very big voice in the jazz community,” said Bessie Edwards, chair of the Jazz! The Women’s Viewpoint program.
As if the dynamic concert series wasn’t enough, this year’s program includes a free masters class with composer, educator and Grammy-nominated jazz pianist Geri Allen. To kick off the festivities, music lovers can enjoy a kick-off reception and panel discussion featuring vocalists Jazzmeia Horn, Vivian Sessoms, Ebony Jo-Ann and Sheila Anderson as they discuss the unique challenges they faced as women in a mostly male dominated jazz industry.
“We wanted to do more than just provide a performance, we really wanted to do a deep dive into what it means as a business, as an aesthetic, as an arts field, and a point of view of where a woman’s voice fits within that entire landscape,” said Indira Etwaroo, executive director for Restoration’s Center for Arts and Culture.
Jazz enthusiasts can purchase tickets for $20 in order to attend the opening ceremony and panel discussion on April 15. The tickets also include a glass of wine so jazz lovers can settle into a weekend full of insight, music and culture. While this weekend’s festivities focus on women’s contribution to a huge part of music history, the programs are part of the 2016 Central Brooklyn Jazz Festival, which invites New Yorkers from various neighborhoods to enjoy events between April 15 and May 15.