Going for It: All-Women Bands

Alex Stewart

in Making the Scene

Published by University of California Press

Published in print August 2007 | ISBN: 9780520249530
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520940161 | DOI:
Going for It: All-Women Bands

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Gathering in all-women groups contradicts the goal of many female musicians to move into mainstream jazz circles, while providing opportunities to gain valuable experience. This chapter explores the issues raised by the formation of all-women bands. How have women used the relative safety of this space to grow musically? How have the presentation of these groups and the expectations of the public affected musical style? Has joining together in all-women bands helped or hindered women's prospects for entering mainstream networks? The concluding section discusses the common perception of a rise in women's participation in jazz in the context of persistent narratives characterizing women as “emergent,” even after many decades of contributions.

Keywords: all-women groups; female musicians; mainstream jazz; musical style

Chapter.  9903 words. 

Subjects: American Music

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