NEWS for #IWD2018: Europe Jazz Network addresses gender equality (Gateshead International Jazz Festival, 8 April)

Issie Barratt will be part of the EJN panel as well as presenting her Interchange
 Dectet project, featuring the work of 10 female UK composers.
Picture from artist's website

Peter Bacon reports:

How to achieve a gender balance in jazz will be topic at a European Jazz Network (EJN) seminar on 8 April as part of the Gateshead International Jazz  Festival (GIJF).

Ros Rigby, Europe Jazz Network President and Producer of GIJF, said: “The lack of women instrumentalists on stage has been a topic under discussion for decades in the jazz industry, and over the past few years there have been a number of practical initiatives to try to redress the balance in the UK and other European countries.

“As the leading European network representing jazz festivals, venues and support organisations, we feel that we should create a manifesto to be agreed with all our members, making a commitment to gender equality in the next few years. We will be discussing a draft version of this at the seminar in Gateshead.”

Alongside Ros on the panel will be Issie Barratt (composer, educator and musician), Terese Larsson (Svensk Jazz), Annamaija Saarela (Annamaija Music Company- Finland), Sunna Gunnlaugs (Reykjavik Jazz Festival and musician), Graham McKenzie (Huddesfield Contemporary Music Festival), Kim Macari (Jazz from Scotland), Steve Mead (Manchester Jazz Festival) and Kenneth Killeen (Improvised Music Company, Dublin), amongst others who will be encouraging conversation about ways in how the industry can move forward both in the UK and across Europe.

Issie Barratt will also be in residence at the festival and will be presenting her groundbreaking Interchange Dectet project featuring the work of 10 UK female jazz composers representing a breadth of generations and cultural backgrounds.

At this year’s GIJF 10 of the 18 concerts feature women artists, in many cases as headline performers – the ambition of a recent similar proposal by the PRS Foundation’s Keychange Initiative is to aim for a 50/50 gender balance across a number of other festivals. Some of the female artists at GIJF include Sheila Jordan, Norma Winstone, Ruby Turner, Zara McFarlane, Kadri Voorand and all female trio J Frisco.

EJN is a non-profit Europe-wide association of producers, presenters and organisations, with over 120-member organisations from over 35 countries who work towards supporting the identity and diversity of jazz in Europe.

Tickets for the seminar, Sunday 8 April at 10.30am, are free but ticketed.

LINK: Gateshead International Jazz Festival, Friday 6 – Sunday 8 April at Sage Gateshead.

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