From Nina Simone to Elle Varner, jazz music has boasted some great female vocalists over the decades. But less often recognized are the women who have broken ground as instrumentalists in the male-dominated genre.
Girls in the Band is an acclaimed documentary about those inspiring women, who have struggled since the 1920s to get their props as musicians. Directed by award-winning filmmaker Judy Chaikin, the nonfiction film has been hailed by critics as a "real crowd-pleaser."
Combining archival footage and interviews with musicians, Chaikin explores how even in the face of extreme prejudice, sexism and racism these women helped shape the history of American music. "At long last, the names of women like Mary Lou Williams, Melba Liston, Clora Bryant, The International Sweethearts of Rhythm, Valaida Snow and many other forgotten women, will take their rightful place in the history of Jazz," says the director.
Girls in the Band will screen for one week starting May 10 at the prestigious Lincoln Center of New York. The documentary continues a successful tour of film festivals around the world. Visit the film's website for screening dates and release info.
Check out our sneak peek of the film below.
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(Photo: Courtesy AN ARTIST TRIBE/ONE STEP PRODUCTIONS)