Please visit Northwest Film Forum to see a trailer and donate to help us finish with the final production and post production of In Her Hands.

This work is more relevant than ever in our current political climate where gender equality has a long way to go.


Women in the American Jazz World:

  • Fight for blind auditions,
  • Pursue their music passion no matter what the obstacles,
  • Push for performance and recording opportunities,
  • Act as positive role models,
  • Mentor young women musicians,  
  • Encourage women to become involved in performance and composition.

Women musicians have been on the American Jazz scene since the beginning—as pianists in the dancehalls and riverboats, as all-girl bands from the 1920’s through the 1940’s, and as individual instrumentalists in bands comprised of, mostly, men. A variety of obstacles limited women’s participation in the music industry, education systems and recording sessions. Today women around the US fight for auditions, create their own opportunities, and act as role models for young musicians today—taking it in their own hands to make the needed changes to get equality in the Jazz world today.

A continuation of the story of women in jazz from the award winning film Lady Be Good: Instrumental Women In Jazz, this film begins with a US tour of Monika Herzig's band Sheroes, and the recording of their second album. Each member of Herzig’s ensemble is an eminent musician and leader in the jazz world. Through concert footage and poignant interviews of this group and other women Jazz musicians from New York to Louisville, Seattle to the Bay Area, In Her Hands explores women’s visions in Jazz and how they are taking it in their own hands—making needed changes to get equality in the Jazz world today.

Interviews and Performances

Sheroes group features Indiana University professor and pianist Monika Herzig, and New York musicians Rosa Avila, Jamie Baum, Ariana Fanning, Gabrielle Murphy, Mayra Casales, Amanda Gardier, Ingrid Jensen, Reut Regev, Leni Stern and Jennifer Vincent.
In Her Hands explores these women’s visions, their diverse backgrounds and talents as they reflect on their careers. All of these women have chosen jazz as their expressive voice despite many economic and social hurdles. This group represents the tip of the iceberg.

Women around the country are working to ensure that women and young girl musicians have opportunities in the field of jazz. The interviews, supported by location and concert footage, will be underscored by the women’s original compositions. Strongest points will be selected from the following:

  • Equal Rights Advocates in Berkeley fighting Jazz at Lincoln Center for blind auditions, job postings and WINNING!
  • Ellen Seeling and Montclair Women’s Big Band demonstrating the kick-ass musicianship of the composers and players.
  • Jean Fineberg and the creation of the Blues and Jazz Women’s and Girls Camps in Berkeley, CA for musicians with varying levels of abilities to study with women instructors and participate in public performances.
  • Ingrid Jensen master of trumpet and flugelhorn , and role model for women in jazz today.
  • Sherrie Maricle created New York’s DVIA Big Band—still going strong after 25 years.
  • Angela Wellman and Black Girls Play in Oakland, CA creating an educational opportunity for girls of color, to be taught by talented black women leaders in the industry.
  • Marge Rosen, Maria Joyner-Wulf and Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra (SWOJO) created Madison Middle School All Girl Jazz Band for mentoring, workshops and performance with SWOJO band members; and the creation of a yearly Women’s Jazz composers competition which culminates in a concert of winning compositions played by the orchestra.
  • Leah Rogdwizd on Seattle’s Jazz Night School, SWOJO and addressing alternate learning possibilities for girls and women.
  • Seattle’s JazzEd.
  • Clarence Acox and Garfield High School.
  • Sarah Cline and Berkley High School Girls Combo giving girls varying opportunities at the pre-college level.
  • Rebeca Mauleon and SF Jazz.
  • Jessica Jones  and Jazz at Lincoln Center Jazz Girls Day.
  • Roxy Coss and Women In Jazz Organization.
  • Michael Pellera and New Orleans Center or Creative Arts.
  • Asia Muhaimin on Trombone Shorty Academy and Warren Easton High School.
  • Women In Jazz panels from 2017 JEN Conference on “Supporting Developing Female Jazz Instrumentalists” and “JazzGirls: How to Welcome, Support and Maintain Girls in Our Jazz Program—Sharing Best Practices”.

Ending the inequities for women in Jazz is the key to protecting the future of young women musicians and ensuring that they have opportunities to play. Young women who excell in Jazz today, talk about the importance of support, acceptance, educational opportunities, and their passion for the music. These interviews and performance clips will be selected from:

  • Grace Kelly—sax
  • Margaux Bouchegneis—bass
  • Bell Thompson—trumpet
  • Leah Rogdwizd—bass
  • Candace Ware—drums
  • Kirsten Theodore—sax
  • Fumie Nimtz—sax
  • Naomi Seigel—trombone
  • Anat Cohen—clarinet, sax

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