The Woodshed Network, an organization created in 2018 by Dee Dee Bridgewater and her daughter and manager Tulani Bridgewater-Kowalski to connect, support, educate, and mentor women in jazz, has announced that it is now accepting submissions to its two-week residency program February 21 – March 4, 2022. The sessions feature such topics as recording, agent relationships, publicity, touring, women’s health, imaging, and branding, as well as lectures and screenings on topics including “The History of Women in Jazz,” “Jazz and Gender Justice,” “Philanthropy & Education,” and “The Career of Josephine Baker.” The aim of the program is not only to support women in jazz, but also to recognize the past contributions of women in the music. Bringing things full circle, the organization has partnered with 651 ARTS in Brooklyn, a presenter that had a long history with Betty Carter, one of Bridgewater’s most important mentors.
The 2022 program will take place virtually, which may seem like a disappointment, but the upside is that the resulting roster of mentors is very impressive. Contributing mentors include: Marilyn Rosen (Marilyn Rosen Presents); Catherine Mayer (Just Jazz Int’l); Juliet Temko (United Talent); Jett Galindo (The Bakery); Maureen McFadden (DL Media); Alisse Kingsley (Muse Media PR); Gail Boyd (Gail Boyd Artist Management); Tonya Butler (Berklee College of Music); Shelby Shariatzadeh; China Moses; Monifa Brown (WBGO/Shanachie Entertainment); Heather Burgett (The Burgett Group/PR Stars); Dr. Regina Edmond; and Shirazette Tinnin. Additional speakers include Maxine Gordon (author, Sophisticated Giant: The Life and Legacy of Dexter Gordon); Camille Thurman; Professor Terri Francis (author of Josephine Baker’s Cinematic Prism); Terri Lyne Carrington; Melissa Walker (Jazz House Kids); along with presentations from all of the first-year Woodshed Network program alumnae: Errin Alexis, Lakecia Benjamin, Darryn Dean, Sarah Hanahan, Kennedy of Kennedy Administration, Amina Scott, and Sequoia Snyder.
Bridgewater-Kowalski, who serves as the associate artistic director for the program, told JT in an email that the impetus for the program was twofold. “The first was sitting at my dinner table reviewing a proposed recording contract for a young artist who’d recently won a competition. I quickly realized they had all the musical knowledge to be successful, but little of the business acumen or financial resources to advocate for themselves. That vulnerability was viscerally unsettling. The second was out of an appreciation for the gift of mentorship I’ve received at various junctures. I’ve tried to give back along the way, but this opportunity created by my greatest mentor, my mother, offered a concrete and focused way to pay that forward.”
For more information about the program and the submission process, visit the Woodshed Network’s website.