Founder & Director of El Paso Jazz Girls
In the last decade, only 7 girls have made Texas All-State Jazz Band (which is less than 2% of total participants), and I wanted to make a direct impact on access, curriculum, and culture in my hometown's jazz community.
What is your organization's mission?
Our mission is to empower young women interested in learning jazz in a supportive community that fosters self-expression, confidence, and collaboration through music education and performance.
What inspired you to launch this initiative?
El Paso Jazz Girls was started after experiencing and seeing a lack of diversity in educational and professional settings. In the last decade, only 7 girls have made Texas All-State Jazz Band (which is less than 2% of total participants), and I wanted to make a direct impact on access, curriculum, and culture in my hometown's jazz community.
What are your organization’s goals this year?
This year is our 5th year! We have plans to grow our annual summer program where young women can write, arrange, record, and perform their own original music. We will also be doing some professional development trainings for local teachers, participating in the Hanks Jazz Festival, hiring and training new alumna teaching artists, and expanding our organization brand in El Paso through merch and local events.
How have your NEC experiences shaped your approach to your work?
NEC helped start El Paso Jazz Girls through the EM Spark Award and Tanya Kalmanovitch's Graduate EM Seminar class. My experience with the CPP Teaching Fellowship helped me become versed in curriculum writing, group teaching, and best practices for teaching artistry.
Share any other stories that inspired your work.
Over the past 5 years, we have served almost 100 young female musicians in the El Paso area. It has been inspiring to see our alumna producing their own music, sharing it on Spotify, pursuing music degrees in higher education, and in some cases come back and serve as teaching artists for El Paso Jazz Girls.
Learn more about El Paso Jazz Girls
Facebook: El Paso Jazz Girls