Women's Jazz Leadership Initiative

"I grew up in a musical family where a record was always on and someone was always sitting at the piano. I began singing before I could speak. And from the time I could sit at the piano, I did - and I played. I listened. My grandfather was a jazz musician and I was enthralled with the way his fingers lifted magic from the keys and the way his voice made me feel everything all at once. My mother was a classical pianist and I marveled at her beauty as she made the souls of composers centuries gone suddenly reappear to cry of intrinsic truths whose echoes are deep within every heart. All that I knew was that I loved every moment of this thing that made me want to dance and soar and sob all at once. It was in those moments that I knew who I was - that I wanted, more than anything, to be a musician.

I believe that every person has music within them and that the purpose of music education, but especially jazz education, is to supply each student with the facilities necessary to free the music trapped in their soul. As jazz musicians, it is essential that we provide every fellow musician with the opportunity to find their voice and learn to let it soar. This mission is critical to nurturing the vitality of every jazz community across the country. Establishing a community of female jazz musicians creates an open forum for dialogue, a supportive and constructive community to nourish relationships between musicians, and a fostering environment where every musician’s voice may be heard."

- Isabella I. (Music '20)

Isabella and Ilana W. (Music '18) were just accepted to the Women’s Jazz Leadership Initiative at the Jazz Institute of Chicago! Isabella spoke to them about the importance of establishing a community of female jazz musicians.