WIJO Mentors

THANK YOU to our Donors for the 2020-2021 WIJO Mentors Fundraiser!

MARCH 8, 2021 - Women in Jazz Organization launched a fundraising campaign to support WIJO Mentorsits collegiate mentorship program. The fundraiser ran from International Women’s Day, March 8, 2021 through International Jazz Day, April 30, 2021, honoring both Women’s History Month (March) and Jazz Appreciation Month (April). We were able to raise over $7K in proceeds from this campaign, to go solely towards running the WIJO Mentors program. Although this campaign has concluded, you can always contribute to our ongoing efforts at Women In Jazz Organization (including WIJO Mentors), by donating via Paypal here.

2020-2021 Season Roster:

wijo mentors


Pictured and Listed Alphabetically, Top L to R, each row, top to bottom.

Alexandra (Allie) Biancoviso (trombone), Anson Jones (voice), Bell Thompson (trumpet), Devon Gates (bass), Eliana Fishbeyn (composition), Emma Taylor (bass), Faith Quashie (voice), Katelyn Robinson (voice), Katie Carson (trumpet), Kellin Hanas (trumpet), Lauren Elliott (composition), Malin Carta (saxophone), Marlen Suero-Amparo (drums), Olivia Hughart (saxophone), Renuka Jayasinghe (saxophone), Stephanie Tateiwa (saxophone), Summer Camargo (composition), Yvonne Rogers (piano), Zandra Azoulay (drums), Courtney Wright (composition)

mentors pic


Pictured and Listed Top L to R, each row, top to bottom.

Vanisha Gould (voice), Tomeka Reid (composition), Jennifer Wharton (trombone), Grace Kelly (saxophone), Janis Siegel (voice), Terri Lyne Carrington (drums), Shirazette Tinnin (drums), Carla Cook (voice), Lessie Vonner (trumpet), Helen Sung (piano), Nadje Noordhuis (trumpet), Christine Jensen (composition), Gabrielle Murphy (saxophone), Mimi Jones (bass), Chloe Rowlands (trumpet), Camille Thurman (saxophone), Allison Miller (composition), Marion Hayden (bass), Ayn Inserto (composition), Sharel Cassity (saxophone)

Applications are now closed for the 2020-2021 Season. Please check back in June 2021 for information on applying for the 2021-2022 Season.

Please email questions to mentors@wearewijo.org.

WIJO Accept Cover 2
WIJO Acceptd Cover 4


WIJO Mentors is a collegiate mentorship program designed to connect and enrich the community of women and non-binary people in Jazz. The program provides strong role models to up-and-coming jazz musicians and composers in a safe and supportive environment, and offers a way for established jazz musicians and composers on the scene to actively participate in and help shape the future of their art form. Selected student participants will work with professionals from around the world in a one-on-one setting to receive guidance on musical, career, and interpersonal skills, as well as having a once in a lifetime experience to build a new relationship with an established musician or composer.

WIJO Mentors Program Outline

WIJO Mentors consists of a minimum of:
- 2 private lessons, each at least 1 hour long
- 4 additional meetings or discussions, each at least 30 minutes long

Mentees will also receive the following:
- Work with their mentors on need-assessment and goal-setting
- Feedback from mentors on all their application materials
- Invitation to all WIJO Mentors events, including “meet & greet” sessions and jam sessions (given the dissipation of COVID-19 restrictions)
- Access to additional WIJO resources

Suggested Topics of Discussion:

- Musical Skills: Practice routine, harmony, band leading, chart writing, attending/leading a jam session, recording, listening, etc.
- Professional Skills: Social media promotion, brand management, booking gigs, website building, networking, industry information, etc.
- Interpersonal Skills: How to present yourself in a professional way, getting to know how the Jazz community works
- Shared Experiences: How to navigate the experience of being a woman or non-binary person in Jazz

WIJO Mentors 2020-2021 will run September 2020, through May 2021, and is a no-cost program for all selected student participants.

The WIJO Mentors selection chooses mentees who show strong artistic vision, a commitment to their musical growth in the area of jazz, and potential to contribute to the community of women and non-binary people in jazz.

Building on the success of previous seasons, WIJO Mentors only accepted 20 mentee participants this year. This change is designed to not only ensure consistency and growth in the quality of mentor-mentee relationships but will also allow WIJO Mentors as a program to support its participants to the fullest capacity.

Applicants chose to apply as primarily either a vocal performer applicant, instrumental performer applicant, or composer applicant. Selected participants have been paired with a mentor in the category they applied for. Applicants are only eligible to apply in one category per season.


WIJO seeks and encourages individuals of all backgrounds to apply for WIJO Mentors 2020-2021. We are committed to representing and cultivating diversity in all areas of this program. This commitment is present in all decision making, including the selection of mentees and mentors. Diversity, inclusion, and equity is a primary consideration in the review process of determining which mentee applicants are chosen to participate.

International Participants: This program is open to all applicants, regardless of location, including students inside and outside the U.S.

WIJO Mentors Roster (2019-2020)



Olivia Hughart, Malin Carta, Grace Frarey, Madeline Winters, Morgan Hurlock, Lael Dratfield, Lauren Elliott, Crystal Rebone, Hannah Dunton, Jahnvi Madan, Yu Nishiyama, Jhoely Garay, Sejin Kim, Naomi Nakanishi, Maya Keren, Anastassiya Petrova, Alice DeRagon, Sarah Irvin, Bell Thompson, Katie Carson, Summer Camargo, Shannon, McDougall, Emily Gelineau, Catherine Byrne, Joie Bianco, Yifei Zhou, Rachel Azbell, Elizabeth Sadler, Alaina O'Neill, Kassandra Charalampi, Rose Stoller, Dina DiMarco



Alden Hellmuth, Alexa Tarantino, Melissa Gardiner, Karolina Strassmayer, Mercedes Beckman, Christine Jensen, Lisa "Paz" Parrott, Katie Ernst, Mary Ann McSweeney, Lihi Haruvi-Means, Erica Seguine, Shirazette Tinnin, Dida Pelled, Rachel Z Hakim, Roberta Piket, Monika Herzig, Angela Morris, Virginia Mayhew, Bria Skonberg, Barbara Laronga, Nadje Noordhuis, Shannon Gunn, Akua Dixon, Leonor Falcon, Kristina Koller, Aubrey Johnson, Brenda Earle Stokes, Lucy Yeghiazaryan, Lauren Lee, Noriko Ueda, Tammy Scheffer, Rachel Ekroth

Spring 2019 WIJO Mentors Roster

WIJO Mentors Spring 2019 Mentees


Genesis Berrios, Anna Blackmore, Malin Carta, Kassandra Charalampi, Domi Edson, Jhoe Garay, Jess Goodrich, Sarah Hanahan, Morgan Hurlock, Malwina Masternak, Liany Mateo, Sarah Milligan, Yu Nishiyama, Anastassiya Petrova, Jade Saffery, Ella Jane Sharpe, Bell Thompson, Talia Rubenstein, Courtney Wright

WIJO Mentors Spring 2019 Mentors


Mercedes Beckman, Rachel Eckroth, Melissa Gardiner, Jocelyn Gould, Christine Jensen, Aubrey Johnson, Kristina Koller, Barbara Laronga, Virginia Mayhew, Elsa Nilsson, Nadje Noordhuis, Dida Pelled, Roberta Piket, Mayu Saeki, Karolina Strassmayer, Brenda Earle Stokes, Sumi Tonooka, Noriko Ueda, Rachel Z

Fall 2018 WIJO Mentors Roster

Wijo Mentees


Alexandra Ayoob, Bell Thompson, Diamond Anderson, Montana Heater, Jade Saffery, Liany Mateo, Jessica Goodrich, Malwina Masternak, Yvonne Rogers

Wijo Mentors


Alexis Cole, Melissa Gardiner, Monika Herzig, Barbara Laronga, Roberta Piket, Lauren Sevian, Svetlana Shmulyian, Joanna Wallfisch, Rachel Z


If you have any questions about the WIJO Mentors Program or application process, please send us an email.