I’ve been thinking a lot about my experience teaching at the all-female jazz camp that Geri Allen had the foresight to create 5 years ago and several things have really struck me. All the young women were completely supportive of each other and wanted everyone to do their ‘best,’ with that word having none of the typical competitive associations. Everyone wanted the music to communicate their own joy and love for what they were doing-no concerns with being hip or ‘cutting’ anyone. The community was everything.
The diversity of the community was awesome – I and the other non women of color were in the minority and it was a great experience. Of course, having the amazingly talented and humble Regina Carter in charge certainly helped set the tone. In their performances ALL these young women, regardless of their experience, communicated with their audience in a profound way; the vibe at our concert was amazing and everyone left feeling better than when they got there. Isn’t this what music is supposed to be about? Seems to me these young women are on to something important that can help solve that which ails us at this particular moment in time.