[Dixielandjazz] Regardless of the Reason, Women Have the Stage

Steve Barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Mon Jun 18 09:48:29 PDT 2007

A snip from a NY Times review about a predominantly female musical group
raises some interesting debate points.

Lately, we've been performing with a female trombone player, Cindy Leiby,
who is not only excellent, but wildly popular with both men and women in our

The men say; "She plays like a man" and the women say "What a great player."
Very interesting. :-) VBG

Cindy says; "I'm thrilled to play in this band, it is real jazz that gives
me a chance to strut my stuff."

Steve Barbone

Regardless of the Reason, Women Have the Stage


Concerts exclusively by female composers create a political quandary for
their instigators. Women in music history have been notable for their
absence, and recent demands for attention have given the nature-nurture
debate a new field of battle. Why have there been so few women in music¹s
past, and why are there so many in its present?

The St. Luke¹s Chamber Ensemble finished a three-concert series on
consecutive Saturdays at the Chelsea Art Museum over the weekend. Bearing
the titles ³Unsung,² ³Unbound² and ³Unleashed,² the events remembered early
fighters for recognition like Amy Beach and Ruth Crawford, celebrated
successful old pros like Joan Tower and Libby Larsen, and, as they did on
Saturday, offered music more on the outer edges of experiment.

But there was an undercurrent of conflicting arguments to this concert. One
argument said that sex is unimportant: Music is good or it isn¹t. The other
‹ supported by the presence of five pieces by women, a group of musicians
with only one man in it, and an audience made predominantly of women ‹
strongly implied that sex is an identifiable theme. Is sexlessness the basis
of equality for female composers, or is femininity an empowering element for
great music? Like all important arguments, this one will never end.

Maybe segregated programs like Saturday¹s are just good politics. The
fraternities of music have always run the show, and maybe the sororities,
fewer in number, are banding together to consolidate their powers. . . . .

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