“Mothers In Jazz” is a new conversation series hosted by vocalist Nicky Schrire and published by LondonJazz News. The initiative aims to create an online resource for working jazz musicians with children, those contemplating parenthood, and jazz industry figures who work with and hire musicians who are parents.
“The idea behind the new “Mothers In Jazz” series in collaboration with LondonJazz News is to shine a light on the very specific role of being both a mother and a performing jazz musician,” says Nicky Schrire.
Earlier this year, Nicky Schrire interviewed a group of working jazz musicians who juggle touring and motherhood. That interview was released on the podcast The Jazz Session (listening link below). New mother and vocalist Sarah Elizabeth Charles shared what led to her decision to have a child and whether or not she had to take career parameters into consideration. Canadian pianist and vocalist Laila Biali shed light on touring with an almost-teenager and having other jazz musicians confess their anxiety about losing work to motherhood. Bassist Linda May Han Oh spoke about her first tour after having her son. What travel stroller did she use? Did she have childcare while on tour? What would she do differently for the next tour? It should be added that Linda went straight from the podcast interview to pumping so that she could maintain her teaching schedule at Berklee in Boston while her child remained home in New York. Quebec-based saxophonist Christine Jensen spoke about provincial subsidies for working mothers while vocalist Lina Nyberg told the group how Sweden supports mums who tour.
The “Jazz Session” interview has led to a new series. That is because the experience of talking about the many facets of motherhood and career with these musicians left Nicky keenly aware how little this specific topic is discussed publicly and how many women and parents are longing for first-hand accounts of juggling parenthood and a jazz career.
There is clearly a need for shared information that provides emotional, philosophical and logistical information and support that is easily accessible to all.
Perhaps the most effective way in which to both discuss the topic of motherhood in jazz and provide a continuously updated, public resource for others… is to keep going.
So, the idea behind the new “Mothers In Jazz” series in collaboration with LondonJazz News is to shine a light on the very specific role of being both a mother and a performing jazz musician.
The series kicks off on 1 August 2022 and the initial interviewees include German pianist/composer/bandleader Julia Hülsmann, American vocalist Rebecca Martin, and Swedish trombonist Karin Hammar.
Listen to The Jazz Session podcast Episode #599: Mothers In Jazz here
Bassist Linda May Han Oh On Touring As A New Mum & Advice From Mothers In Jazz
Vocalist Laila Biali On Touring Children & Considerations For Mum’s On The Road
Pianist Zoe Rahman On Motherhood Enriching Her Life As A Jazz Musician