International Women’s Day 2021 | A Conversation…

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To contribute to both #IWD2021 and the ongoing conversation surrounding the prejudices women face in the UK jazz scene, we sat down for a conversation with Dr. Sarah Raine, Emily Jones and Helena Debono.

Keychanges at Cheltenham Jazz Festival, compiled by Dr. Sarah Raine, presented findings from interviews with 10 anonymised female jazz musicians of a “notable level of success” who performed at the 2019 event.

This open access report documents the activities, findings and recommendations of a research project created in partnership with Cheltenham Jazz Festival on their Keychange pledge to programme a 50/50 gender balanced schedule by 2022.

Head of Programming for the festival at the time was Emily Jones, who was kind enough to join Dr. Sarah Raine alongside musician and educator Helena Debono, and NYJO’s very own Comms & Development Coordinator, Mariana Curado, to discuss the issues and themes explored within the report.

Thirty percent of the participants reported experiencing sexual harassment in their careers, while 90% said they had experienced gender-based discrimination, with the majority of respondents stating that they found the UK’s jazz scene – currently in the midst of a renaissance – to be male-dominated.

You can watch the full conversation below:


We’d like to thank Sarah, Emily and Helena for their time and urge you to read, watch, digest, share and support!

You can down the full report below:


Sarah also highlights the noticeable response she received from women in Scotland. Scottish Women Inventing Music (SWIM) recently published their inclusive approach to signpost, educate and collaborate across Scottish music to co-create a professionalised and safer sector for all.

You can view their full resources here.

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