WIJO Mentors

WIJO Accept Cover 2



WIJO Mentors is a 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 Mentee 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 is looking for mentees who show strong artistic vision, a commitment to furthering their musical and professional growth in the area of jazz, and potential to contribute to the community of women and non-binary people in jazz.

WIJO Mentors 2023-2024 will run January 2, 2024 through August 1, 2024 and is a no-cost program for all selected participants. WIJO will provide suggested time frames for each mentorship pair to schedule their lessons and meetings, to help space out the sessions throughout the 2023-2024 season calendar, but each pair will ultimately choose their lessons and meeting times based on individual availability.

WIJO will accept up to 20 mentee participants this year.

Please note the following important program dates to consider when applying for the WIJO Mentors Program. Dates and event topics are subject to change.

September 18, 2023: WIJO Mentors application opens
November 17, 2023: WIJO Mentors application closes
December 20-23, 2023: ‘23-’24 WIJO Mentee class announced via email correspondence
January 4, 2024; In-Person WIJO Mentors Meet-Up @ JEN Conference, New Orleans
January 8, 2024: WIJO Mentors Orientation, NYC (Zoom link also provided)
January 28, 2024: Music Business Event
February 20, 2024: Artistic Cultivation Event
March 21, 2024: Musicianship Growth Event
April 7, 2024: WIJO Mentors Jam Session Take Over
May 13, 2024: WIJO Mentors Benefit Concert
June 27, 2024; WIJO Mentors Jam Session, NYC
July 31, 2024: WIJO Mentors Culminating Event, NYC
August 1, 2024: End of Season, Deadline for Fulfilling Program Requirements

*Additional dates will be added throughout the season for supplemental events, including online zoom listening sessions, guest clinician sessions, wellness events, and more.

Please note that while attendance is not mandatory for the listed program events, your attendance and prioritization of event participation in events as a WIJO Mentee is strongly encouraged.

WIJO Mentors program requirements consist 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
- Access to all WIJO Mentors online and in-person events, including “meet & greet” sessions, workshops, master classes, and jam sessions
- Access to additional WIJO resources
- Contact information and connection with the current class of selected Mentees



Applicants can choose to apply as either a vocal performer applicant, instrumental performer applicant, or composer applicant. If selected to participate, the applicant will be paired with a mentor in the category they apply for. Applicants can only apply in one category per season.

All performer applicants (both vocal and instrumental categories) are required to submit one video recording of their playing in order to be considered for acceptance to WIJO Mentors. All composer applicants are required to submit both a score of an original composition and an accompanying audio or video recording of their composition.


WIJO is seeking and encouraging individuals of all backgrounds to apply for WIJO Mentors 2023-2024. 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 will be a primary consideration in the review process of determining which mentee applicants are chosen to participate.


In order to qualify to be selected as a mentee for WIJO Mentors, the applicant must:

  • - Be between the ages of 18 and 24 years old (as of January 2, 2024)
  • - Identify as a young woman or non-binary/gender-neutral individual
  • - Provide evidence of a commitment to pursue jazz professionally either through current participation in a music degree program and/or through proof of artistic practice

(Currently and actively studying jazz formally, or show a strong desire to pursue jazz in the future and show a high capacity for understanding and working to improve in areas specific to jazz. Applicants do not need to be enrolled in a music degree program to apply.)


1. Submit a WIJO Mentors online application form (through Acceptd)

2. Include all supporting materials in application (more detailed information available on application landing page through Acceptd):

  • - Cover Letter
  • - Current Bio
  • - Current Resume
  • - Letter of Recommendation
  • - Headshot
  • - Audio/Video Submission (ONE music selection)
  • - Score (Composers only) (ONE music selection)
  • - Application Fee (*You can request financial assistance if needed. See below for more info)

*If you are a current student you can apply for a fee waiver or reduced cost of the application fee if you qualify for financial aid. This application will go through Accetpd. Please contact the Accetpd Help Desk via this link. If you're not a current student and need to apply for a fee waiver or reduced cost of the application fee, please contact WIJO directly at Mentors@wearewijo.org

This program is FREE to participate, if selected - there are no costs involved or expected from the mentee participants, once they are accepted into the program. There is a fee that is required to submit an application, in order to maintain the program and its related administrative costs.

Mentors will be paid fairly for the lesson time given through this mentorship, but all other time involved in the program, including building the relationships, is given on a voluntary basis.


  • The selection of Mentee participants will be made based on various factors, including the information provided through application forms, cover letters, letters of recommendation, musical skill and potential demonstrated by score/audio/video submission, biographical information and past experience listed in the resume. Major consideration will be made for applicants with strong artistic vision, potential for growth, and the ability to contribute to the community of women and non-binary people in jazz.
  • Mentee and Mentor matches will be selected based on instrumentation, location, areas of strengths/weaknesses, personalities, areas of focus/interest expressed in application forms, and experience and skill level in the areas of music, business, and interpersonal relationships. We will not pair a mentee and mentor together more than once, but matches are encouraged to continue their established relationships stemming from the mentorship program far beyond the WIJO Mentors program dates.
  • Returning Mentee applicants are encouraged to apply for and participate in as many semesters as they are eligible. In addition to the above specifications, the selection of returning mentee participants will also include a review of participation in past seasons and demonstrated growth. Previous participation in the WIJO Mentors Program does not guarantee selection for the current season.

Questions/More Information

Please send us an email with any questions regarding the WIJO Mentors program or application process, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

WIJO Mentors Email: mentors@wearewijo.org

WIJO Mentors Program Director: Tahira Clayton  


Q: Do I need to apply to be a Mentor for WIJO Mentors?

A: No, if you are interested in serving as a mentor for this or future seasons, please send us an email. We would love to hear from you!


Q: Do I need to be a current student to apply for WIJO Mentors?

A: No. As long as you meet the age requirements AND can prove your artistic practice, you are eligible to apply.


Q: I am already older than the upper age limit. Will you still consider my application?

A: Unfortunately, we cannot consider you for WIJO Mentors. However, we encourage you to become a member of WIJO and part of our larger community of women in jazz.


Q: I am not 18 yet. Can I be part of WIJO?

A: Unfortunately, we do not have programming for the youngest members of our women in jazz community quite yet. But please sign up for our mailing list and keep in touch. We have plans for future programming for younger folks, and want to stay connected with you as you move further along into your musical journey. We hope you consider applying for WIJO Mentors in future seasons, when you are eligible.

2022-2023 Season Roster

2021-2022 Season Roster

WIJO collage

MENTEES: Pictured L to R, Top to Bottom row: KC King (tenor sax), Florence Hughes (trombone), Marlena Boedigheimer (tenor sax),Anna Meyer (voice), Allison Young (alto/bari saxes), Kellin Hanas (trumpet), Mackenize McCarthy (tenor sax), Sarah McIntyre (trumpet), Adriana Tampasis (composition), Angelina Kolobukhova (voice), Jenna Reel (piano), Destiny Diggs (composition), Stephanie Tateiwa (alto sax), Anjelica Rose (bass), Kate Williams (composition), Alexandra Biancoviso (trombone), Stephanie Chow (guitar), Faith Quashie (voice), Emma Hedrick (composition), Sara Navratil (tenor sax)

MENTORS: Trineice Robinson Martin, Charenee Wade, Johnaye Kendrick, Rosana Eckert, Ayn Inserto, Marta Sanchez, Marion Hayden, Mariel Bildsten, Kalia Vandever, Bria Skonberg, Lessie Vonner, Caylen Bryant, Carmen Staaf, Camila Meza, Sharel Cassity, Maria Grand, Lisa Parrott, Camille Thurman, Gabrielle Murphy, Caroline Davis

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)

2019-2020 Season Roster



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 further questions about the WIJO Mentors Program or application process, please send us an email.