|Stefanie Kunckler (L) and Nicole Johänntgen (R) at SOFIA
Photo credit: Daniel Bernet
Gigi Williams writes:
The German saxophonist Nicole Johänntgen has issued a call for the first time to UK female Jazz musicians to apply for the third biennial SOFIA (Support Of Female Improvising Jazz Artists).
SOFIA will be holding its next conference from 7-11 March 2018 in Zurich, where Johänntgen, who instigated the project, is now based. A small cohort of musicians from across the continent will be selected by a specialist panel to take part in a week-long, all expenses-paid course.
Johänntgen describes the conference on the SOFIA website as follows:
“For seven days, a few carefully selected musicians from across Europe will attend workshops on such varied topics as booking, PR, music physiology, moderation, label work, copyright, and much more. In addition, these musicians will rehearse jazz standards under the direction of international jazz musicians.”
This will be the third SOFIA conference, which was started in 2014 and runs every two years. Speakers will include Carine Zuber, director of Moods Jazz Club in Zurich, and, for the first time, British drummer Sophie Alloway alongside many others. The conference aims to support female jazz musicians with practical and holistic training to support them with self-promotion and business skills as well as instrumental instruction.
The previous courses have proved successful, with Johänntgen citing “a magic energy” as one of the reasons she has decided to run the course for the third time.
“We empower the participants to say ‘Ok I can go and make my own thing now’, there is an untouchable courage coming out of the course”
IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR APPLICANTS: The application deadline is next Monday 30 October 2017, and must include two live recordings: one original composition and one blues, as well as an introductory recording about why you want to be involved in SOFIA. There is no age limit, although applicants would be expected to have completed music studies or be currently studying.
Aside from the festival, in the coming weeks Johänntgen will be releasing a CD titled “20”, celebrating the 20th anniversary of playing with her childhood band.