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Womxn to be elevated

New scheme aims to help musicians with female connections to support each other and develop new work

Singer Sara Serpa, according to JJ’s Andy Hamilton “a thoughtful and sensitive vocal artist”, has teamed with another musician, Jen Shyu, to form M³, a project that aims to empower and elevate womxn (sic) musicians around the world (including BIPOC and LGBTQIA2S+ across generations).

M³, originating in New York, stands for “Mutual Mentorship for Musicians”. The idea is that four times a year (on the solstice and equinox) 10–12 womxn will be randomly paired into 5–6 new duos to discuss issues and write new compositions. Each of the four “seasons” will end with a world premiere of the new works and a Q&A with audiences.

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The 12 persons participating in the first season are Romarna Campbell (UK), Caroline Davis (New York), Eden Girma (US/UK), Val Jeanty (Haiti/NYC), Maya Keren (Philadelphia, PA), Erica Lindsay (Rosendale, NY), Lesley Mok (NYC), Tomeka Reid (Chicago/NYC), Sara Serpa (Portugal/NYC), Jen Shyu (NYC/East Timor), Anjna Swaminathan (Brooklyn, NY) and Sumi Tonooka (Philadelphia, PA). Each will receive $500 for participating, though the source of the funding is not disclosed.

The project was launched on Facebook (facebook.com/NationalJazzMuseum) 21 July as part of the Jazz and Social Justice series run by the National Jazz Museum in Harlem. More information is at MutualMentorshipForMusicians.org.

According to the Portland Art Museum, LGBTQIA2S+ stands for “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and/or Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, Two-Spirit, and the countless affirmative ways in which people choose to self-identify”. BIPOC is generally taken to mean Black, Indigenous and People of Colour. Neither term, however, appears to carry any musical connotation.

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