About WIJO

Mission Statement

Women In Jazz Organization intends to help level the playing field in Jazz, so that women and non-binary people have equal opportunity to participate in and contribute to Jazz, leading to an improved and more rich, diverse, and successful art form.

WIJO is committed to honoring Black Americans as the creators of Jazz.

Who We Are

Women In Jazz Organization is a collective of over 500 professional Jazz Musicians and Composers who identify as Women or Gender Non-Binary. Largely a New York City-based organization, with connections to other individuals and groups nationally and internationally.

History of WIJO

Women in Jazz Organization was founded by NYC Saxophonist Roxy Coss, to address many of the issues that Women and Non-Binary people in Jazz are facing on a daily basis. Roxy joined forces with Vocalist Aubrey Johnson to plan WIJO's very first "Monthly Meeting". The meeting was held at the Local 802 Musician's Union in NYC on July 18, 2017, with 12 women in attendance, including WIJO Vice-President Tahira Clayton and Secretary Allegra Levy. Former Leadership also includes Sirintip (Tippan) Phasuk. WIJO now has grown to include over 500 members, in addition to hosting our yearly 20 selected mentees in the WIJO Mentors program.


  • - To empower individuals in the organization
  • - To foster inclusivity, solidarity, and strengthen the intersectional community of women and non-binary people in Jazz
  • - To address inequalities in Jazz culture and on the Jazz scene through activism

What are the problems?

There is a lack of representation of women and non-binary people in the Jazz world

Women and non-binary people in Jazz face discrimination

Women and non-binary people in Jazz experience harassment, assault, abuse and violence, as well as more subtle oppression

Women and non-binary people in Jazz don’t receive the same opportunities as men do

Women and non-binary people in Jazz don’t have the same community available to them that men do

What are the solutions?

Empowerment/personal development/learning space/resources

Community building/support group/network & connectivity tool

Outreach programs & mentorship

Social justice/advocacy/action for change; dismantling barriers and inequities in Jazz

Creating more opportunities for members to perform, work, learn, and participate in Jazz

Providing established voice to represent individual women & non-binary people in Jazz

What are the goals?

To improve the experience of women and non-binary people in Jazz

To create a group of women and non-binary people in Jazz that can meet and share experiences, to have peers to talk with, share stories and support, so as not to feel alone

To build a network of women and non-binary people in Jazz to pool resources with, learn from each other, and empower each other and the entire women and non-binary people in Jazz community as a whole

To improve issues in the Jazz community: how people in Jazz see and treat us; how people outside the Jazz community see and treat us; and how we see and treat ourselves and each other

What We Do

WIJO Current and Past Projects, Events, & Initiatives:

Community Engagement/Education:

WIJO Mentors Program

Partnership with Jazz Girls TX


Headlining Band at Key of She Conference (2020) postponed

International Women’s Day - WIJO Concert @ United Nations International School (2018)

Lioness Concert Series - partnership with Convergence Arts (2018)

JAM Sessions:

WIJO "Women in Jazz" Jam at NYC Winter JazzFest (2020)

WIJO Mentors Jam at National Jazz Museum in Harlem (2019)

WIJO Member Jam Session at Kitano Jazz (2018)


Participation in 2018 NYC Women’s March

Consulting on Gender in Jazz with Institutions

Gender In Jazz Panel Discussions & Lectures

Research & Presentations

Venues including NYC Winter JazzFest, University of North Texas, The New School, Juilliard, Sopot Jazz Festival, University of Manitoba, Georgetown University, and many more...

WIJO Member Promotion & Career Enhancement/Development:

Gig Publicity: FB Event Co-Hosts

Social Media Accounts (FB, Twitter, Instagram)

WIJO @ WKCR - live monthly radio programs featuring playlists of member music

Official Apple Music Curator, Playlist curation on Spotify and Soundcloud

WIJO Spotlight Series - member YouTube videos

Partnership with Jeff Hanley: PRI Jazz After Hours & Jazz Happening Now radio shows

Partnership with Mary Foster Conklin: A Broad Spectrum radio show

Providing Resources:

Educational Code of Conduct

Member Databases: Big Band Musicians; Educators; Discography

Suggested reading lists and listening lists

Master list of Women in Jazz Greats

Member Community Events/Community-Building:

Monthly Meetings

Reading Group

WIJO Member Hangs including local bars, online cocktail hours and zoom chats, remote "Town Hall" meetings, and more

Conference Booths/Stands:

Key of She (2020) postponed

JEN Conference (2020)

Jazzahead! (2019)

Other Member Services:

Therapy services offered to members in partnership with selected providers , at reduced and sliding-scale cost