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girls posing
girls posing
Visiting musician Sinclair Palmer with students attending North Carolina Jazz Girls Day at UNCG

One Saturday in mid-November middle and high school girls came to UNC Greensboro’s campus for a unique all-day learning opportunity in music: North Carolina Jazz Girls Day.

The day, part of the She Can, We Can event series, was a combination of workshops, discussions, and rehearsals, with a culminating evening performance by the mentors, accomplished female jazz musicians that included UNCG faculty, alumni, and visiting artists.

The students participated in discussions about women in jazz and in jam sessions with the faculty mentors before they got to see them in concert.

Notably, the teaching faculty included visiting saxophone and vocal artist Camille Thurman, UNCG faculty member Ariel Pocock, pianist and vocalist, as well as visiting bass player Sinclair Palmer and UNCG alumnus and percussionist Sarah Gooch.

Pocock offered the following reflection about the day’s events:

“Growing up as a young musician, I often felt that I did not see myself represented in my teachers and mentors. I hope that event like this will help change the experience for the next generation of musicians, and that they will always feel safe, included, and welcomed in musical spaces. My advice to any young woman aspiring to be a jazz musician: Don’t be afraid to make the music you truly want to make and be the musician you want to be. You don’t need to prove anything to anyone besides yourself. I look forward to hearing the music you create!”

The program was supported by UNCG’s Miles Davis Jazz Studies Program, the Jazz Education Network, and Russell Lacy Music.

girls at a lecture
girls playing jazz instruments
woman sitting, speaking into microphone
Visiting bass player Sinclair Palmer speaking to students at NC Jazz Girls Day
Visiting saxophone and vocal artist Camille Thurman speaking to students.

Photography by Martin W. Kane, University Communications

 
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