Jazz at Lincoln Center has adopted new selection procedures, including blind auditions, formal job postings and wider outreach about openings, for regular and substitute members of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. This follows Equal Rights Advocates and JazzWomen & Girls Advocates who, on April 30, 2015, descended upon JALC to call for equal opportunities for female jazz musicians at the orchestra, which has never had a permanent female member.
“We are optimistic that these exciting changes, which reflect our collaborative efforts with Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, will increase opportunities for women musicians to join this iconic jazz institution,” said Ellen Seeling, jazz trumpeter and chairperson of JazzWomen & Girls Advocates, in a press release.
In addition to JazzWomen & Girls Advocates, JALC collaborated with Equal Rights Advocates, the Liu Law Firm P.C. and Outten & Golden LLP to develop the new selection procedures, such as blind auditions, which have been “widely credited with increasing the representation of women in symphony orchestras from less than 5 percent of all players in the 1970s to close to 50 percent today,” according to the release.
“We applaud Jazz at Lincoln Center for making these changes to its selection process, and are hopeful they will result in a more diverse orchestra,” said Jennifer Reisch, Legal Director of Equal Rights Advocates, in a press release. “This is an important and historic step towards increasing women’s representation in jazz, a field in which women instrumentalists historically have faced exclusion and marginalization.”
To learn more about Equal Rights Advocates and JazzWomen & Girls Advocates’ efforts in promoting jazz diversity, visit the Equal Rights Advocates’ official website.