Women* are underrepresented as leaders at every level of public and creative life – including jazz performance.
Throughout their development women are often dissuaded from pursuing creative careers, let alone leadership roles, from middle-secondary school, through to university and into the professional arena.
There are a multitude of reasons for this, including societal pressure regarding instrumentation choice for women as well as a lack of female role models – compared to their male counterparts – for emerging musicians.
In 2019, MIJF launched a program that supports the career development of a Victorian female* leader in jazz while championing diversity and encouraging female school-aged musicians to consider a career in jazz performance.
The first iteration, Tomorrow is My Turn, brought a touring band – lead by bassist, composer and educator Claire Cross – to metropolitan and regional high schools with an improvisation workshop and an opportunity to see women leading the way in music.
To MIJF audiences, the project brought a new composition by Claire, Into Light, which made its premiere at the Festival.
In 2020, this initiative is back with a new name, new supporters and a new leader – but the same ethos remains intact: if you can see it, you can be it.
In 2020, Take Note will be led by saxophonist Holly Moore.
Holly is an exciting young musician who is emerging as a leader in the Australian jazz sector.
Holly will receive $5,000 in support of developing a new composition that will be presented at MIJF’s digital festival series, These Digital Times and broadcast by ABC Jazz. She will also receive a career development package, comprising mentoring sessions tailored to suit her career goals and trajectory.
“I am excited and honoured to be the MIJF Take Note artist this year. I am thankful to have the opportunity to play new music at this year’s Festival and am looking forward to leading jazz workshops and sharing the music I love with students throughout the year as a representative and advocate for women in jazz.” – Holly Moore
In addition to her performance, Holly has helped to develop and hosts a series of improvisational workshops for high school students which have been filmed for a digital delivery mode during COVID-19 restrictions.
The Take Note program is supported by Creative Victoria, The Kestin Family Foundation, the Robert Salzer Foundation, Box Hill Institute and PBS 106.7FM.
*MIJF acknowledges that gender is a diverse spectrum and when referring to women and men it includes those who identify as female and male, and those who are trans, intersex and gender non-conforming