Schedule

Get your ticket to build your agenda.

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

- EDT
Symposium Welcome
Join on Zoom
Terri Lyne Carrington
Terri Lyne Carrington
Founder and Artistic Director, Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice, Berklee College of Music

Terri Lyne Carrington and Berklee administrators open the symposium and briefly discuss the founding of the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice. 



- EDT
Panel 1: Resounding Imagination: A Keyword Conversation about Black Feminist Sound, Memory, Place, and Power
Join on Zoom
Daphne A. Brooks
Daphne A. Brooks
Professor of African American Studies and Professor of Theater Studies, American Studies, and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Yale University
Jayna Brown
Jayna Brown
Professor in the Graduate Program in Media Studies at Pratt Institute, Pratt Institute
Maureen Mahon
Maureen Mahon
Cultural Anthropologist, Department of Music at New York University

Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice advisory board member, Angela Y. Davis, stresses the importance of imagining the future in which we want to live. If we can’t imagine it, how can we get to it? This panel brings together three eminent scholars of black music whose recent books can help us imagine a world of new possibilities and to hear a future based upon the resonance of Black feminism.  

Guided by a selection of keywords and concepts, Daphne A. Brooks, Jayna Brown and Maureen Mahon discuss what inspires and motivates their research and writing, with special attention given to their recently published books: Daphne A. Brooks (Liner Notes for the Revolution: The Intellectual Life of Black Feminist Sound, Harvard, 2021), Jayna Brown, (Black Utopias: Speculative Life and the Music of Other Worlds, Duke, 2021), and Maureen Mahon (Black Diamond Queens: African American Women and Rock and Roll, Duke, 2020). 

- EDT
- EDT
Panel 2: Cornerstone Conversation with JGJ Advisory Board
Join on Zoom
Angela Davis
Angela Davis
Distinguished Professor Emerita in the History of Consciousness and Feminist Studies Departments, University of California, Santa Cruz
Farah Jasmine Griffin
Farah Jasmine Griffin
Chair of African-American & African Diaspora Studies; Director of the Institute for Research in African American Studies, Columbia University
Carrie Mae Weems
Carrie Mae Weems
Visual and Conceptual Artist
Gina Dent
Gina Dent
Associate Professor of Feminist Studies, History of Consciousness, and Legal Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz
Romi Crawford
Romi Crawford
Professor of Visual and Critical Studies, School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Angela Davis, Gina Dent, Farah Jasmine Griffin, and Carrie Mae Weems will discuss their vision and perspective on the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice. Moderated by Romi Crawford.

- EDT
Respondent: Nichole Rustin
Join on Zoom
Nichole Rustin
Nichole Rustin
Assistant Professor in Residence of Race and Ethnicity Studies, Rhode Island School of Design

Nichole Rustin offers a response to the advisory board, providing her perspective on the Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice based on her scholarship in the field of jazz and gender.  Q & A to follow.

- EDT
- EDT
Panel 3: Fire Side Chat w/ JGJ Students + Special Guests
Join on Zoom
Robin D. G. Kelley
Robin D. G. Kelley
Distinguished Professor of History & Gary B. Nash Endowed Chair in U.S. History, University of California, Los Angeles
Walter Smith III
Walter Smith III
Saxophonist, Chair of the Woodwind Department, Berklee College of Music
Terri Lyne Carrington
Terri Lyne Carrington
Founder and Artistic Director, Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice, Berklee College of Music
Gregory Groover, Jr
Gregory Groover, Jr
Saxophonist and educator
Immanuel Wilkins
Immanuel Wilkins
Alto saxophonist and composer

Robin Kelley, Walter Smith III, and Terri Lyne Carrington together with JGJ Students to lead us in discussion.

- EDT
Performance: Brandee Younger Quintet
Join on Zoom

Brandee Younger, Anne Drummond, Chelsea Baratz, Dezron Douglas, Allan Mednard

Thursday, June 10, 2021

- EDT
Panel 4: Discussion with JGJ faculty
Join on Zoom
Terri Lyne Carrington
Terri Lyne Carrington
Founder and Artistic Director, Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice, Berklee College of Music
Val Jeanty
Val Jeanty
Afro-Electronic Music Composer, Drummer, Turntablist, and Educator, Berklee College of Music
Linda May Han Oh
Linda May Han Oh
Bassist, Composer, and Educator, Berklee College of Music
Edmar Colón
Edmar Colón
Saxophonist, pianist, composer, arranger, and educator, Berklee College of Music
Aja Burrell Wood
Aja Burrell Wood
Managing Director, Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice, Berklee College of Music

Terri Lyne Carrington, Aja Burrell Wood, Val Jeanty, Linda May Han Oh, and Edmar Colón discuss teaching at the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice. Moderated by Tracy McMullen.

- EDT
Respondent: Sherrie Tucker, “How Do We Sound? How Do We Listen?”
Join on Zoom
Sherrie Tucker
Sherrie Tucker
Professor, American Studies, University of Kansas

Sherrie Tucker responds, focusing on allyship/co-conspiratorship.   Discussion/Q&A to follow.

- EDT
- EDT
Panel 5: Transformative Pedagogies/Institution Building
Join on Zoom
Paula Grissom-Broughton
Paula Grissom-Broughton
Chair of the Music Department, Spelman College
Dee Spencer
Dee Spencer
Professor of Jazz and Musical Theatre, San Francisco State University
Lisa Barg
Lisa Barg
Associate Professor of Music History and Musicology, Schulich School of Music at McGill University.
Nicole Mitchell
Nicole Mitchell
William S. Dietrich II Endowed Chair in Jazz Studies, and the Director of Jazz Studies, Jazz Studies at University of Pittsburgh

Paula Grissom-Broughton, Dee Spencer, Nicole Mitchell Gantt, Lisa Barg

(Re)Imagining Jazz Pedagogy through the Lens of Black Feminist Thought

Paula Grissom-Broughton 

In 2016, Spelman College, one of the nation’s top Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), eliminated their once esteemed all-women jazz ensemble, a rarity in a heavily male-dominated artistic field. Founded in 1983, the Spelman College Jazz Ensemble opened for legends like singers Abbey Lincoln and Dee Dee Bridgewater, and for violinist Regina Carter. However, due to years of varied challenges, the ensemble eventually phased out and was later eliminated from the music curriculum altogether. Spelman College is not an anomaly when it comes to this dilemma, faced particularly and surprisingly by many other HBCUs. Using Black feminist thought as a theoretical framework, this presentation addresses the pitfalls of a many jazz programs, particularly at Spelman College, while providing recommendations and opportunities of how jazz studies could be reimplemented and reimagined in institutions where once-lived jazz programs are diminishing or have dissolved. 

Setting the Stage: Diversity and Inclusion in the Beginning-level Improvisation Classroom
 Dee Spencer

This discussion addresses the critical need for classroom instruction that embraces best practices of diversity and inclusion in beginning improvisation classes. Many pedagogical approaches to teaching beginning jazz improvisation emphasize various content ideas and techniques such as the use of call & response, blues, scales and patterns, solo transcriptions, play-along records, performance analysis, jam session participation and live performance attendance. These are valid instructional approaches. Focused methods to support students who lack confidence and experience difficulty participating in the creative performance environment are often lacking in these classroom settings, however. Often, these are students who already feel marginal to the academic (jazz) setting: women, students of color, first-generation college students (Wehr-Flowers, Goecke). Based on 25+ years as a college jazz instructor and a value system instilled and nurtured by my HBCU education, I share the methods I have found to welcome students in to jazz improvisation. These include playlist sharing, group projects, and student self-evaluation. Ultimately, these methods offer ways to counter long-standing biases in jazz education that have left women, students of color, and other marginalized groups on the sidelines of jazz improvisation and help to centralize an approach to jazz education linked to values of collaboration and community rooted in the HBCU tradition.  

We Got the Sway: The Smooth Takeover

Nicole Mitchell Gantt 

We Got the Sway is a fact-fictional narrative by Nicole Mitchell Gantt that tells how a critical mass of jazzwomen overturned the patriarchal dominance of a big band. Through story-truth-telling, generational silences are peeled back so that crucial voices that have been less visible can be more fully seen, felt, and heard. Recalibration that centralizes gender balance is a process that can benefit all, but the transformation in real time is ongoing and often uncomfortable. 

Arranging Relationships: Gender, Intimacy and Collaborative Creativity

Lisa Barg

 This talk reflects on the theme of transformative pedagogy, broadly conceived, in the context of histories of collaboration and arranging in jazz. Specifically, I focus on three collaborative relationships drawn from my research on issues of gender, sexuality and collaboration in the music and careers of Billy Strayhorn and Melba Liston—the latter carried out, importantly, as part of a feminist collaborative research collective devoted to Liston’s remarkable and multifaceted career (The Melba Liston Research Collective). The three collaborations engage a variety of working relationships, roles, and musical pairings: instrumental soloist-arranger (Johnny Hodges-Strayhorn); vocalist-accompanist/arranger (Lena Horne-Strayhorn); and composer/bandleader-arranger (Randy Weston-Liston).  I’m interested in exploring the transformative sonic practices and possibilities of these collaborations, particularly in relation to how these collaborations embodied and performed different forms of jazz intimacy and Black gendered relationships. 

- EDT
Breakout/Community Building Meeting
Join on Zoom
Aja Burrell Wood
Aja Burrell Wood
Managing Director, Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice, Berklee College of Music
Tracy McMullen
Tracy McMullen
ACLS Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellow, Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice, Associate Professor of Music, Bowdoin College

This Breakout/Community Building meeting is designed as a space for symposium participants to share the many thoughts they have likely had during the panels. Without the advantage of hallways, lobbies, and lunch dates, this space is an opportunity to share, learn, and connect with each other, spurred on by the symposium’s themes: Black feminism as an eminently inclusive praxis; building and sustaining healthy institutions and communities; fostering transformative pedagogies; and envisioning/intoning the future of jazz education. We suggest the possibility of giving special attention to two issues during this time: gender that extends beyond a gender binary (engaging, especially, queer Black feminism); and racial equity focused on the need to create more pathways to jazz education for Black students. 

- EDT
Panel 6: Black Feminist Thought and Expressive Culture
Join on Zoom
Emily Lordi
Emily Lordi
Professor of English, Vanderbilt University
Yoko Suzuki
Yoko Suzuki
Professor and Jazz Saxophonist, University of Pittsburgh
Rashida K. Braggs
Rashida K. Braggs
Associate Professor in Africana Studies and Faculty Fellow, Davis Center and Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Williams College
Shana L. Redmond
Shana L. Redmond
Professor of Musicology, Global Jazz Studies, and African American Studies, UCLA
Paula Grissom-Broughton
Paula Grissom-Broughton
Chair of the Music Department, Spelman College

Shana Redmond, Emily Lordi, Yoko Suzuki, Rashida Braggs. Moderated by Paula Grissom.

Never Too Much: The Impossible Excess of Lalah's Voice

Shana Redmond 

Building inertia from the hum of her blues to her many flights away from the word, Lalah Hathaway's voice has a unique capacity. Her technique is drawn from years of careful preparation that created a willful withholding in anticipation of the perfect musical storm. Centering her 2013 Grammy-winning performance with Snarky Puppy, this paper considers Hathaway's vocal feats as an urgent rupture in the emplotment of the impossible, a fiction that positions blackness as deficit even as our sounds are considered excess(ive).

The Discourse’: Notes on Writing about Black Musical Artistry

Emily Lordi

This discussion starts from the premise that the way music is heard and remembered is often the effect of the discourse surrounding it—a key argument of and catalyst for my work as a scholar and critic. While music is often described as the prime mover of Black culture, the meanings of that music (including the very idea of its primacy) are often produced by the literary and critical language that rises to meet it, obscure it, sustain it. How much have we learned about the art of Black women musicians, for instance, from such historians and writers as Angela Davis, James Baldwin, and Phyl Garland, as well as from the artists’ themselves, who are often among the best theorists of their own work? And how much has been missed by (un)critical approaches that obscure these same artists’ collaborative, intellectual, creative, and spiritual labor? I will discuss the power of written accounts to enrich our understanding of Black women’s artistry. And I will close this meta-critical discussion by distilling some key principles I have gleaned, as a student of Black Studies and Black feminist theory, from the work of scholars and critics who have modeled attention to material processes of creation; foregrounded issues of training and craft; and privileged intra-group engagement over anti-white resistance. Finally, I will explain how these same principles, which have informed my scholarship, also shape my approach to contemporary arts reporting.

Geri Allen, Mary Lou Williams, and Black Feminist Ethics of Care

Yoko Suzuki 

In her brilliant piece, “Geri Allen and the ‘whole feeling of the connection,’” Ellie Hisama (2020) situates Allen’s “multimodal expression of knowledge” within “the emergent history of black women intellectuals.” Building on Hisama’s work, this paper examines Allen’s Mary Lou Williams projects through the lens of Black feminist care work. Care, a multilayered concept, has been discussed in various contexts in feminist, social, and political research. Jennifer Nash, in one section of her book Black Feminism Reimagined: After Intersectionality, explores “the notion of close reading as care.” Geri Allen’s long-term involvement with Mary Lou Williams’s work demonstrates her commitment to preserve Williams’s legacy with extraordinary care, a counter to the common approach of staging Williams’ compositions to function as an “apology” (Teal 2019) for sexism. Allen performed “Mary Lou’s Mass” several times, recorded Zodiac Suite: Revisited (2008), and produced A Conversation with Mary Lou (2013). By performing Williams’s work with care, Allen continued to produce knowledge passed down by her predecessor who also happened to be an extremely talented Black woman. Instead of holding Williams up as a woman in jazz, Allen emphasized Williams’s musical excellence for which she should be remembered. 

The Ambiguous Play of U. Aldridge Hansberry

Rashida Braggs

During our 2016 interview in Paris, U. Aldridge Hansberry shared the following insight about her identity“I complicate life for everybody, you know. Because I’m an American. I’m an African American. I’m a woman. I’m gay. And I play drums in an additional way. I play flute and it’s not straight ahead. You know. So it doesn’t make life for people, you know, they’re a little bit…” She never completed the thought. Tension and awkward silence hung heavily in the air, as I waffled over my next question about her life as an African American woman performing jazz in 1980s to present-day Paris. This silence and uncertainty derive from Hansberry’s multiplicity, ambiguity and defiance to fit any one genre of French or English language, free or straight ahead jazz, recognition as a woman or a man, and communal connection with Americans in Paris or the French. U. Aldridge Hansberry confuses boundaries and exceeds expectations of jazz audiences, artists and scholars. As a jazz scholar, I attempt to address the uncomfortable pauses and the unrecognized microaggressions U. Aldridge Hansberry faces because of her race, gender and sexuality. My investigations reveal that silence, whispers, exclamation and non-verbal language demonstrate Hansberry’s internal life philosophy and the external expectations of her jazz community. Accordingly, I propose jazz scholarship that interweaves elements of theatre within traditional prose to better capture and deconstruct the unsaid, interjected and gestural experiences of black women in jazz. In this presentation, I share excerpts from my play-essay that draws on my ethnographic research, approaches from black performance studies and theater, and theories of black feminism, black queer studies and jazz studies in order to enact more layered, multi-sighted and dialogical jazz scholarship.


Discussion/Q&A to follow.

- EDT
- EDT
Closing Remarks
Join on Zoom
Jordannah Elizabeth
Jordannah Elizabeth
Author, Music Critic, Editor, and Lecturer
- EDT
Performance: Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice Students
Join on Zoom

Camilla Cortina Bello, Roella Oloro, Psalm Fitch, Naomi Nakanishi, Devon Gates, Veronica Leahy, Hidemi Akaiwa, Steven Montecucco, Ivanna Cuesta Gonzalez