Part of the Washington Women in Jazz Young Artist Showcase:
Toppling Systemic Exclusion: Woman’s Role in a Century of Jazz
Amanda Ekery (Washington Women in Jazz Young Artist 2014), Hannah Grantham, and Tahira Clayton, focus on the history of women in jazz, jazz education, and the societal sexism that has shaped jazz culture.
More information on presenters:
Multi-instrumentalist and composer Amanda Ekery weaves her experience in underground rock, improvisatory creative music, research, and jazz into her compositions, workshops, and community-based performances. She’s been a featured artist at the Panama Jazz Festival performing with jazz legend Ran Blake, Blue Note Amsterdam, and the Amalfi Coast Music Festival. Dedicated to education equity, Amanda founded El Paso Jazz Girls, the first cost-free program for teenage females to learn jazz from professional female musicians in Texas. Her newest album, Keys With No Purpose is a reaction to the sexist culture women continue to face and has received outstanding reviews. As a sought after presenter and researcher, Amanda has been invited to speak at the International Vocal Jazz Conference in Helsinki, Jazz Congress at Lincoln Center, and the Chamber Music America Conference. She’s the Assistant Director of Academic Affairs at New School of Jazz and Contemporary Music, and a teaching artist for the Metropolitan Opera Guild and Jazz at Lincoln Center. amandaekery.com
Recently named the “Most Promising Semi-Finalist” at the Unisa International Jazz Voice competition, Tahira Clayton’s ascension in the musical community is no longer a secret. Known for her honest vocal delivery and charismatic energy on stage, the New York based vocalist Tahira Clayton is sure to charm any audience set before her. As a band-leader, Tahira has quickly made a mark, leading groups in storied venues such as the Cornelia Street Café, the Cell Theatre, Café Noctumbulo, the Kitano (New York), The Jazz Showcase (Chicago), the White House (Orlando), and others. Tahira is establishing herself as a musical force throughout the country. She collaborates on original projects with AMP Trio and together they have achieved international acclaim, radio play, and recognition; reaching #24 on the Jazz Weekly Charts and winning the 2nd annual DC Jazz Prix. Tahira is a founding member of the Women in Jazz Organization in New York City. tahiraclayton.com
Hannah Grantham is an interdisciplinary music researcher with interests in exploring object-driven musical narratives. She has an educational background in jazz, musicology, and organology with degrees from the University of North Texas and the University of South Dakota. While completing her master’s degree she worked at the National Music Museum on a cataloging project of musical instruments dating from the 16th century to the present day. Her other notable projects include researching the material culture of African American music at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History & Culture. Her primary research interests center on twentieth-century African American music and other musical cultures underrepresented in museum collections. In the past she has written about Appalachian dulcimer traditions in western North Carolina and instrumental traditions at the Iranian Safavid Court from 1501-1722. Her current projects focus on the role of African American women in music history.