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A Celebration of the Artistry and Spirit of Women in Jazz
June 5 @ 7:00 pm
Underwritten in part by Peter and Jill Lundberg.
Jessica Courtier, educator, along with pianist Jane Reynolds and bassist Laurie Lang, present a celebration of the artistry and spirit of women in jazz. Whether through explicitly political songs or by fiercely claiming their place on the bandstand, jazzwomen create music to express their truth to the world. Through audio recordings, video clips and live performance, examples from the roots of jazz all the way to the present honor the history and future of a great jazz tradition.
Jane Reynolds, Ph.D., is a pianist, composer, educator and jazz radio programmer/host. She has performed extensively with various artists at concerts and festivals since 1975. Her CD of original works with bassist Hans Sturm titled Blue Got Up was described in Cadence Magazine as “…a tour de force in the art of the duo.” Reynolds has hosted (Strictly) Jazz Sounds on WORT-FM radio since 1985. She is a founding member of the Madison Music Collective and was artistic co-director of the Mary Lou Williams Centennial in 2010.
Jessica Courtier holds a doctorate in music history from UW-Madison. As the program director in Music and the Performing Arts in the UW-Madison Division of Continuing Studies, she oversees community classes in music, dance, history and the humanities, and teaches courses on music culture and history. Her research and teaching interests focus on historical popular American culture.
Laurie Lang is a jazz bass violinist, composer, arranger, educator and producer. Her creative approach allows her sound to reach its musical depths, as her instrument becomes her voice. Laurie loves performing all kinds of jazz: from traditional New Orleans, to Basie big band, to hard bop, avant-garde/free jazz, and also blending a variety of styles ideas while progressing the music forward.
Currently, Laurie enjoys taking on musical projects that build community.
As a bass violinist, she regularly rehearses and performs with John Becker & Sally de Broux; Jim Erickson & Jan Wheaton groups, Joan Wildman, Becca May Grant & the Rivers of Madison, and Stan Godfriaux.
As a jazz educator and clinician, she actively is implementing jazz residencies in area schools: Whitehorse Middle School Strings, Stephens Elementary, Sauk Trail Elementary, Middleton High School and Sun Prairie High School.
As a producer, she is assembling two collaborative pieces with local artists using projected visuals, film, dance and music speaking to human justice.
Over the past two decades, Laurie has been involved in Madison’s creative music scene cultivating creativity through founding and directing the Improvisational Music Workshop, an experimental environment, bringing together jazz enthusiasts and jazz musicians at various levels to experience, to explore and to learn more about the art of ensemble music making and improvisation.
Administratively, she has also served on the board of the Madison Music Collective, a local organization that promotes modern jazz and improvisational music. The MMC has helped bring a variety of national jazz artists to the Madison area. Laurie acted as a liaison and an accompanying musician for various schools and community centers for educational outreach with Rhiannon, Mary Stallings, Tia Fuller, Laurence Hobgood, Carmen Lundy and Ingrid Jensen. Laurie currently serves on the board of the Madison Jazz Society, which promotes jazz with an emphasis on traditional jazz and swing styles, and supports jazz education through its School Grants and Jazz Residency programs.
Joelle Browne has just completed her freshman year at Edgewood High School where she played piano in the Edgewood High School jazz band. She is a piano student of Jane Reynolds, who introduced Joelle to the music of jazz innovator Mary Lou Williams when she was in seventh grade. Joelle is performing Williams’ famous boogie “Roll ‘Em”, which was first recorded by the Benny Goodman Orchestra in 1938 and later by Mary Lou Williams on piano. Joelle carries on the tradition to represent the future of women in jazz!