Monterey Jazz Festival: Hire More Women Instrumentalists As Headliners
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The Monterey Jazz Festival is a non-profit organization which does not provide equal access to jobs for women jazz instrumentalists in headlining positions. This year at the Monterey Jazz Festival, there are 7 women instrumentalist headliners out of 57 acts, about 12%. If you include the number of side musicians, the percentage of women is much lower.
But MJF should provide a showcase where girls and women can be inspired by role modeling of women who play instruments. Not vocalists, but women who play instruments. 2017 marks the 60th anniversary of The Monterey Jazz Festival. It also marks another year of inequity in the field of the hiring, promotion, and economic survival of women jazz instrumentalists. Since its inception in 1958, MJF has had a history of limiting the number of women instrumentalists in its programming, while boosting the careers of hundreds of men jazz instrumentalists. This is a huge problem which affects the economic survival of women musicians, who are ignored and marginalized. It affects women's inclusion in the programming of every other jazz venue locally, nationally and internationally.
While more women are included this year than in the past, the practice of hiring predominantly male jazz headliners has got to change now. There is no legitimate reason for such an underrepresentation of women instrumentalists in jazz today.
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