Washington Women in Jazz Celebrates Its Ninth Annual Festival

The event flyer for the Washington Women in Jazz Festival pictures Washington Women in Jazz All-Stars.

By Kaylan Ware, Howard University News Service

This year Washington Women in Jazz celebrates its ninth annual festival on the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage. On Monday, March 18, 2019, Washington Women in Jazz All-Stars, composers and performers, wowed their audience with original pieces and some comedic commentary.

Amy K. Bormetfounded Washington Women in Jazz in 2011. She serves as the director and is a vocalist and pianist. The Washington Women in Jazz musicians took the stage at 6 p.m.

“I know y’all got in here for free, so you’re really happy right now,” Bormet said. “I see it.”

The All-Stars spent the evening performing each other’s original music. They began with trombonist Shannon Gunn’s “Orange Noise.” The piece featured a trombone solo as well as vocalist Shacara Rogers whose original piece was next on the set list.

Each musical selection highlighted the diversity among the artists and the various instruments played.

“We haven’t had a chance to play in this configuration, so I’m very grateful for this opportunity to bring them all to you because I love music,” Bormet said.”Now that we’re in our ninth year, it’s so beautiful to see everybody play all this new music together.”

Throughout the night and during transitions, Bormet introduced compositions and musicians. When she introduced Brazilian drummer Ana Barreiro’s selection, she joked about the distance Barreiro traveled despite her actually residing in Los Angeles.

“She came here all the way from Brazil,” she said. “She swam.”

“[It’s] always a pleasure to play music with my sister Amy,” Barreiro said.

Barreiro also documented “behind the scenes” exclusives of the performance on Washington Women in Jazz’s Instagram account story.

The purpose of the annual festival is to celebrate, recognize and increase the representation of women in jazz. Bormet organizes a Young Artist Showcasewhere high school and college women perform and network with other musicians.

This year is the eighth annual Young Artist’s Showcase. Students from across the country gathered to perform at Publick Playhousein Cheverly, Maryland.

Originally from Denver, Lindsay Day is a freshman jazz studies major and jazz vocalist at the University of North Texas. She is just one of the artists that performed in the Young Artist Showcase on Saturday, March 23.

A few of the other artists were University of North Texas jazz studies students as well.

Bormet earned a master’s degree in jazz studies from Howard University and attended Duke Ellington School of the Arts located in DC. She now serves Washington youth through music.

She works to encourage and inspire female musicians to pursue jazz music despite the genre’s male domination. The free concert opened doors to many young artists, and everyone looking to enjoy an evening of jazz and support the mission of Women in Jazz.

The Women in Jazz Festival, lasting from March 10 to March 31, will wrap up with Charmaine Michelleand the Women in Jazz Collective at An Die Musik Live.