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Su Terry: BLOG

Male Jazz Cats, Please Take Some Responsibility

Posted on July 19, 2012 with 0 comments

Someone recently sent me trumpeter Philip Tauber's "The Language of Modern Jazz Improvisation for Trumpet", a nice compendium of practice material.  In the beginning of the book he lists 120 trumpet masters, serving as a listening guide as well as an homage to colleagues and past masters. 

Out of 120 players, there are 2 women: Ingrid Jensen and Louise Baranger, both of whom I know and have played with. 

I realize that one can't possibly mention all the great players in a list of that sort--but here's the thing--you've got to make an effort towards making the world a better place.  If you have to go out of your way a little bit to research the women players, then do it!  On that list were white guys, black guys, American guys, guys of other nationalities, but only 2 chicks.

Any list of this nature should include Pam Fleming, Ellen Seeling, Barbara Donald, Jami Dauber, Tanya Darby, Rebecca Coupe Franks, historic players like Valaida Snow and Clora Bryant, amazing lead players like Laurie Frink and Liesl Whitaker--and these are just the ones off the top of my head!

Please people, when you put together a list, think about the young people you are serving with it.  They are hungry for information, they are the players of tomorrow, they are our future.  They are guys and they are gals, they are transgender, they are whatever they are.  Please make an effort to portray more of a cross section so the stereotype of guy-trumpet-player can be dispelled, and we can move on to more interesting, and funnier, trumpet-player stereotypes, a la "how many trumpet players does it take to screw in a light bulb?"

In order for the music--and its audience--to grow, all .great players must be recognized.  Please do your part.  Thank you.