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The 2015 Monterey Jazz Festival (Sept 18-20, 2015) had (yet another) ALL MALE HEADLINER cast of instrumentalists with one exception: Geri Allen on piano. There were about 4 female vocalists. Since its inception in 1958, MJF has had a history of limiting the number of women who are jazz instrumentalists while boosting the careers of hundreds of male jazz instrumentalists. This is a huge problem that affects the economic survival of the women musicians that are ignored, left behind and generally not supported. It affects their hiring for other venues throughout the year locally, in the state, in the USA in general, and also abroad.  The 'ASK' here is simple: That MJF commit to increase its roster for female jazz instrumentalist headliners to 25%.  MJF should reflect a showcase where girls and women of all ages can be inspired by role modeling of women on jazz instruments who are actually able to make a living from their craft. In addition, it is a strong opinion that by limitation of women jazz instrumentalists being hired to perform on all the stages of MJF, this also LIMITS THE GENRE OF JAZZ ITSELF. Thus becomes the question: How can this very genre become strengthened when the music world in general is witnessing jazz's presence as being lost in a sea of becoming confused with that of Soul, R&B and Blues? Therefore, it is imperative for the representation of women musicians that the genre of jazz become more formidable so that it not only is strengthened by the diversity of its voice, but by shear numbers increasing in its players that will help the genre grow as more youth become drawn to all the complexity that the genre offers.  Without at least that change, MJF will remain the dinosaur of sexism that gets targeted by progressive voices just as Hollywood is seeing happening now.    LET THE MUSIC GROW! is a grassroots campaign to create such a change - to get that very important conversation going. (This content has been edited profusely since its inception. If you would like to see the original version with more editorial content, please feel free to write that in your comments upon signing. Thank you!)

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