About WIJO

WIJO FB Cover Photo

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 400 professional performing Jazz Musicians 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 the Jazz world are facing on a daily basis. From there, the WIJO Leadership Team quickly grew to include Vocalists Aubrey Johnson and Tahira Clayton. WIJO officially launched as a collective with its first "Monthly Meeting" in July 2017, which included 12 women in NYC. WIJO has grown to over 400 members, and now includes several committees with respective project directors and coordinators, and even an intern, that work hard to keep things running.

WIJO AIMS TO IMPROVE THE EXPERIENCE OF WOMEN AND NON-BINARY PEOPLE IN JAZZ THROUGH FOCUSING OUR WORK ON THREE MAIN GOALS:

  • - 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 Complete Projects, Events, & Initiatives:

WIJO Mentors Program

Apple Music Curator

WIJO Spotlight Series - member videos

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

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

Partnership with Mary Foster Conklin: A Broad Spectrum radio show

WIJO Booth/Stand at Jazzahead! 2019 Conference - Bremen, Germany

International Women’s Day Concert @ United Nations International School

Holiday Party & Member Jam Session at Kitano Jazz, NYC

Lioness Concert Series - partnership with Convergence Arts

Participation in 2018 NYC Women’s March

Member Gig Publicity: FB Event Co-Hosts

Educational Code of Conduct

Databases: Big Band Musicians Database; Educator Database; Discography of Members

Suggested reading list

Consulting on Gender in Jazz with Institutions

Gender In Jazz Panel Discussions & Lectures

Monthly Meetings

Reading Group

WIJO Member Hangs

Social Media Accounts (FB, Twitter, Instagram)

WIJO Website