For 14 years, I’ve collected data about women musicians, particularly those in blues and jazz in America. I received several grants from my county school board to present the story of Amazing Musicwomen and over 8,000 children in Florida, China and Japan have benefitted from this presentation. See photos of me with kids in China and Japan.
Finally, I published my book Amazing Musicwomen and my goal is to get this book into every school and library in the United States. The women in this book were what I consider to be the “first Civil Rights Workers” because they were the ones who stepped out on a stage and said, “I am a complete person, a Free person!” The directory starts with Gertrude “Ma” Rainey, known as the “Mother of the Blues”, followed by Bessie Smith, Alberta Hunter, Ethel Waters, Lil Hardin Armstrong, Marylou Williams, then on to Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Washington, Betty Carter, Carmen McRae, Melba Liston, Marian McPartland, Peggy Lee and the others, adding up to 40 women. Their music began a revolution toward freedom in America that has resounded around the world.
Also, I published a book entitled So, You Want To Be A Singer? A manual for up-and-coming Divas, musicians and composers that contains 20 chapters on the art of being a musicians and the business of music.
Presently, I am the executive director of Women in Jazz South Florida, Inc., a non-profit organization that promotes women musicians, globally. Our new compilation CD features 10 songs from 10 fabulous women musicians and is available at http://cdbaby.com/womeninjazzsouthflorida
Visit our website at http://wijsf.org