The Palm Springs Women’s Jazz Festival continues with 100% female artists as it announces its fifth season of entertainment with 30 artists, including chart topping, Grammy-winning artists and award winning masters of their craft. The Festival continues to create stories of its own, creating anecdotes that band members and the audience share about the unique weekend featuring women in jazz.
One story is about the stage. Since launching in 2013, the stage is reserved to exclusively recognize women musicians. “We recognize that men have a greater advantage attaining work as musicians,” says Gail Christian, Executive Producer of the Festival, “We choose to take this time to hire 100% women artists and know we are the one festival in the country taking that stand.” Men are invited to join the audience and to bring their wives, sons and daughters to celebrate the artists on stage. “In the end, it’s about great music, but a survey of jazz festivals shows, on average, 19% of artists and band members are women. Looking at the bands on late night TV, it’s a similar ratio with some bands being male only. For women to get three concerts is just a beginning,” continues Christian.
This message resonates with female artists. For example, early in July, singer/songwriter Ellie Goulding tweeted out she was one of the few woman on stage at music festivals, when she wrote, “Need to give myself credit sometimes as I’ve been doing this non stop for over seven years. I don’t see many females at these festivals.” Making the point that this trend is more than just in jazz, it’s in music.
In 2017, a collection of extraordinary musicians will descend on Palm Springs for a compelling musical tapestry with delightful surprises. Making this, not only a memorable weekend for the musicians, but for audiences, too. Audiences don’t often see this kind of unique and special coming together. From multi-platinum, award winning performers to rising stars, you don’t want to miss this one-of-a-kind weekend of music! “Each year our headline vocalists perform with an all female band, which they don’t usually meet until we go in to the rehearsal 24 hours before the show,” says Festival Music Director, Sweet Baby J’ai, “This is a master class on music and musicianship. It creates a unique audience experience and a combination of artists audiences only see at our festival.”
Describing her experience at the Festival, legendary jazz vocalist/pianist Diane Schuur said, “One of the greatest moments in music. It was very magical. There is an intuitive quality that happens when women get together.”
This year’s line up includes three main shows:
Opening Night – The Golden Age of Jazz – Friday, November 3, 8pm at the Riviera – Step back in time to the Golden Age of Jazz when you enter Sweet Baby’s Place, a setting reminiscent of the famous New York jazz clubs. Exciting vocalist, Jazzmeia Horn, winner of the prestigious Sarah Vaughn International Vocal Competition, and saxophonist Melissa Aldana, the first female to win the coveted Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition, will be joined by the internationally acclaimed Chilean recording artist, Claudia Acuña and the Jazz All-Stars in a tribute to the legendary music of Sarah Vaughn, Ella Fitgerald, Billie Holiday and more.
Miki Howard and Kandace Springs at the Annenberg – Saturday, November 4 at 8pm – Jazz + Blues = Soul, a celebration of the rhythms of jazz, funk, blues and R&B. Featuring the magic of Grammy-nominated, multi-platinum recording artists Miki Howard a major force on the smooth jazz scene. Plus rising star, Kandace Springs, the Blue Note recording vocalist receiving rave reviews. Together with Jazz All-Stars they will rock the house.
Tribute to the Divas – Gospel Brunch – Sunday, November 4 at 11am at the Riviera Hotel. A signature event each year, this year is a salute to the Divas of Gospel. The internationally acclaimed Firm Soundation gospel quartet has toured the world spreading the word. Headed by lead singer Sandra Adams, who has performed with Aretha Franklin and BeBe Winans they will pay homage to the female greats of gospel music; Mahalia Jackson, The Winans and Shirley Caesar. A morning of soul-stirring music rooted in the tradition of southern Black churches.
The 2017 Festival dates also take place concurrently with Palm Springs Pride. Two special Pride events for the LGBT friendly audience are on sale including a Pride Casino Party at Spa Casino on Friday and Pride Pool Party at the Riviera on Satuday.
If You Go:
For ticketing, show times and complete Festival information visit: PalmSpringsWomensJazzFestival.org
For questions about tickets, please call 760-416-3545 Monday through Friday, 9am – 5pm PST, except holidays.
About the Palm Springs Women’s Jazz Festival:
The Palm Springs Women’s Jazz Festival is produced by The Palm Springs Women’s Jazz and Blues Association. Since 2013, the Festival has hosted over 125 artists, attracting thousands of audience members and fans to Palm Springs each year. The Association is a non-profit established to preserve and foster an appreciation of jazz and blues music and to support female jazz and blues musicians who traditionally struggle for recognition and employment. The festival includes concerts, exhibits, presentations, films and other events that promote an understanding and enjoyment of the work of women artists.