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Indaba Music Women's Music Summit

Indaba Music Women's Music Summit
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In Texas you'll often hear someone who's being asked why they've been out of touch for a long time respond with an old saying. The conversation is this:
"Where've you been?"
"Oh, to Hell and back."
Well, since my last column, my husband (guitarist Jackie King) and I have suffered the loss of our oldest son, our parents, a grandchild, and some of our closest and dearest friends, so that old saying rings especially true for us just now, but so does the best part of the saying, the last half : we're back! And it feels good.

Jackie will be starting his Improvise! column soon and here I am—the Jazz Wench—excited to be writing for All About Jazz again, and doing my little bit to document the lives of women jazz instrumentalist past, present, and future!

This month's column is particularly exciting because, in addition to introducing you to three new women musicians few of you have heard of, I am going to let you know about an opportunity that will benefit you or any woman musician/composer/singer you may know. It's an exciting event, a scholarship to the event, and a contest to win the scholarship. This contest deadline is coming up really fast so you'll have to act quickly to enter, but there's another old saying I'm sure you're already familiar with: "Where there's a will, there's a way," right? Maybe you've got something already recorded you can send in as your entry, but if not, IndabaMusic.com has everything you need to share your music with the world and, most importantly, benefit from the process.

Let's back it up a little and I'll tell you just a little about what this month's column is all about. First, you'll have to check out IndabaMusic.com—a site that's revolutionizing the ability of musician's to collaborate in the creation of music via the internet—and they're doing something right at Indaba Music because the site already has over 700,000 members and, I'll admit it, I love the fact that Queen Latifah is on their board. You can check them out at their site and while you're there, get the information you need about past, present, and future opportunities to further your career. Every one adds up, right? And while this opportunity is just for women, not all are, so everyone might want to check it out what Indaba Music is all about.

So here's the information for the sisters: Indaba Music decided to create/sponsor the first annual Women's Music Summit, with some generosity thrown in by Dean Markley, who's offering a full scholarship to the event to one lucky (and talented) woman. Judges for this opportunity include: Meshell Ndgeocello, Marni Stern, Malina Moye, Bibi McGill, Kaki King, Melissa Auf Der Maur, and Laura B. Whitmore. The Women's Music Summit is an intense, week-long program consisting of instructional workshops, masters classes, round table panels, group dinners, jam sessions, social gatherings, and perhaps most importantly, a chance to network/connect with other women musicians at various stages of their careers. Among the teachers are: Kaki King, Meshell Ndegeocello, Melissa Auf der Maur (Hole, Smashing Pumpkins), Marnie Stern, Malina Moye, and Bibi McGill (Beyoncé, Pink). Industry panelists include Laura Taylor of Guitar Center and Laura B. Whitmore, Summit co-producer and columnist for Guitar World. It's scheduled for August 27-31 at the Full Moon Resort in Big Indian, NY.

Most important date for you to remember: May 28, 2012 at 5:00 PM EDT. That's when your entry is due. Just a few days away!

All the rest of the details are up to you to find out through Indaba Music. My main concern here is getting the word out to the women at AllAboutJazz.com that the event exists and there's a scholarship available if you need help participating in it, as I just heard about it myself and it sounds like it's going to be a great summit.

(Note to publicists: I'm seeing visions of my mailbox being deluged with not-so-meaningful PR releases—please don't—let's keep it real. AllAboutJazz.com has all kinds of ways, paid and free, for you to promote your clients' events. This column is about women jazz instrumentalists with the occasional vocalist—in fact this is the first time I've featured vocalists, and if these three women weren't also instrumentalists, I wouldn't write about them. I'm not into promoting events but this sounds like a really good opportunity that will benefit my readers. Thanks for understanding!)

So, OK now. During the entry process we won't have an opportunity to hear the other contestants' entries, except for the three that I'm going to introduce here in my column. And I'm really excited about sharing these talented women with you.

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