Preview: Jazz Centre UK's jazz women

The Jazz Centre UK promises a wide-ranging series of concerts, movies and presentations during its seven-week Jazz Women event this summer

Jazz Women is the second of The Jazz Centre UK’s events sponsored by the Heritage Lottery Fund. It runs from Saturday 30 June to Saturday 18 August at the Beecroft Art Gallery, Southend-on-Sea and aims to "celebrate the contribution of women to the arts and crafts of jazz music and to encourage young female performers and commentators to step up and make their own contributions to our on-going culture".

The event includes concerts by Sara Dowling (pictured right), Sydney Robins, Val Wiseman and a duo set from Karen Sharp and Nikki Iles. There will also be a season of films about women in jazz, including The Jazz Baroness, Diane Schuur With Count Basie, Nancy Wilson At Carnegie Hall, The Girls In The Band, The International Sweethearts Of Rhythm and The Last Of The Blonde Bombshells. An exhibition of books, periodicals, photographs and other memorabilia by or about women jazz musicians, artists, authors and journalists will be on show as will a multi-media on-screen presentation celebrating current women jazz performers, writers and educationalists in action and footage of their historic predecessors.

Digby Fairweather (CEO of The Jazz Centre UK) says: "The position of women in jazz – parallelling in a sense the position of women in society generally - is a relevant cause for discussion (as well as celebration) today … we feel that our events will help to celebrate great jazz women past and present and also encourage new arrivals to step up to the line and make their own contributions to our ongoing culture!"

The concert dates (all at The Jazz Centre UK, except for Val Wiseman) are as follows:

Saturday 30 June - Sara Dowling Quartet (2.00pm)
Saturday 14 July - Sydney Robins (2.00pm)
Saturday 21 July - Karen Sharp and Nikki Iles (2.00pm)
Wednesday 8 August - Val Wiseman (8.30pm at Cricketers Jazz Bar, Westcliff-on-Sea)

For more information about all the events go to the Jazz Women web pages.

Bruce Lindsay

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