Joyce Moreno is one of my favorite musicians. I admire her voice, her guitar technique, her repertoire, her performance, the way she leads her career… Everything about her is simply elegant and serves as an example and inspiration. that said, you can imagine how thrilled I was when she not only liked a comment I had made, but also commented on the comment.
Here is the story: someone had asked Joyce a question about her criteria for choosing musicians to accompany her on stage and her answer highlighted characteristics such as musical affinity and such. Then, I replied to her comment, saying that I also try to work with musicians who had already made the transition to the twenty-first century, that is, whose way of thinking kept pace with changes and did not repeat old sexist patterns that simply no longer fit (or should not fit) in nowhere.
Then, to my great surprise (you know, we always think our idols are too far apart), Joyce not only liked my comment, but replied with a single word, that said it all: “Exactly”. Of course I was super happy to have received the attention of a music star, which I admire so much. On the other hand, I was also very sad to realize that our stories, so different in so many ways, could converge not because of the fact that we both write songs and sing, but because of the shared experiences of sexism.
I mean, the job is already hard as it is. and its non-stopping. In the last twenty-four hours I received two “yes” and one “no” (actually the negative had already been sent last week, but ended up, who knows how, in my spam box) and this is what we call a very good day. Anyway, living the dream of a career in music has its ups and downs for everyone, but being in control (leading a band, for instance), in a society that still expects that women should rather be controlled, makes things even more complicated for us women.
My point is: in addition to the usual difficulties, you still have to deal with explicit expressions of sexism, like the time when a musician (the keyboard player) of the band simply missed the last rehearsal of a concert I was producing, without giving any kind of notice whatsoever.
His absense forced me to make lots of last-minute changes to the arrengements and, therefore, to the dynamics of the concert, but even worse was his “big”come back, a few hours before the gig. He showed up and (here the story gets really interesting) apologized… to the (male-)guitarist, but not to me. Honestly, can you imagine this situation happening if the person in charge was a man?
Are you tired of such questions? So are we. It is tiring, it is sad, and yet it is necessary to continusouly speak up.
On the approaching International Women’s Day, I wish to the many Gs., Js. and to all the fighting companions a lot of strength and a lot of joy to celebrate the advances and conquests. Of one. Of all.
Be seeing you!
p.s. There is a lot happening already (hurray!), for instance, the Jazz Women Network