UNT Professor and Fellow Musician Start Venture to Champion Women Charting a Path in Big Band Jazz

Brava Jazz Publishing launching during Women's History Month for a reason. The goal is to elevate and disseminate big band jazz compositions by women composers and arrangers

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Brava Jazz Publishing launched on International Women's Day for a reason. The one-of-a-kind outlet aims to champion and widely distribute the work of women composers and arrangers in the big band jazz genre.

"If you're only programming music by men, you're missing out," University of North Texas One O'Clock Lab Band Director Alan Baylock said.

When Baylock looked to diversify his programs, he had a hard time finding big band compositions by women.

"Because of the discrimination of women in the history of jazz throughout the last 100 years, there are fewer women in the field," Baylock said. "However, the talent level is certainly at the level of all the people in the history books."

That sparked the idea to launch Brava Jazz Publishing with fellow musician Annie Booth.

"We know that there's great women who are writing great music out there," Booth said. "We decided to create this platform as a way of putting a spotlight on these women and making sure that their work is accessible."

Brava Jazz Publishing has about 15 composers and arrangers on its roster so far, with music for levels from middle school students to professionals.

Booth said she went her entire school career in band without playing a single piece of big band music composed or arranged by a woman. Booth and Baylock want to change that for future students.

"I'm imagining when all of a sudden they get to put a piece of music in front of them that has a woman's name on it," Booth said. "It shows them that their passion for this music has a real viable path for them in the future."

The goal is to have diversity, not just in band ensembles, but on the page.

"It makes the music better," Baylock said.

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