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Eight at a time - The unstoppable rise of the female jazz musician Part 2


This is the second article, continuing my series where highlighting female musicians who continue to trailblaze and illuminate the pathway to brighten the way ahead for those who follow.

9) Summer Camargo has performed at major festivals and venues as a leader. A sought-after collaborator she injects swing and technical precision into her music. She received the Jerome L. Greene Fellowship at The Juilliard School and has played with the All-National Jazz Band, the Jazz Band of America, the Grammy Band, the Next Generation Women in Jazz Combo, the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra, and Jazz at the Lincoln Centre under Wynton Marsalis. Her awards are already impressive and just a few include National YoungArts Foundation Merit Winner, and Merit Winner in Jazz Composition. Downbeat Outstanding Student Jazz Performance Award and at the 2017, 2018, and 2019 Essentially Ellington Festivals, and she gained Outstanding Trumpet Soloist Awards.

Camargo has played at Carnegie Hall, the Monterey Jazz Festival, and the Lincoln Center Gala. She has toured with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra for their 2022 Big Band Holidays series with Samara Joy and has been playing with her own band in prestigious venues in NYC such as Dizzy's and Birdland.

Her first original big band chart won Camargo the Dr. J. Douglas White Student Composition contest in 2018 and was invited to arrange her composition ‘ 80 Tears of Joy’ for the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra. Summer has been a panelist for Jazz at Lincoln Center's Jazz Congress and performed across the United States including Montana, Wisconsin, Florida, and South Dakota. The future is promising for this young musician.

10) Kellin Hanas leads the Kellin Hanas Quartet and the band debuted upstairs at Birdland in NYC – which might just give an inkling of the caliber of this rising star. She plays trumpet and has performed at venues including Carnegie Hall, Dizzy’s Club, and Jazz at The Lincoln Center, and with jazz greats including Sean Jones, Wycliffe Gordon, and Christian McBride. As a member of the Grace Fox Big Band, Hanas was a featured soloist on the band's debut album "Eleven-O-Seven". She has toured with the DIVA Jazz Orchestra and Manhattan Transfer. Hanas has been a member of Carnegie Hall's NYO Jazz Band, Monterey Jazz Festival's Next Generation Jazz Orchestra and Women in Jazz Combo, and the Jazz Band of America, and she attended the Vail Jazz Workshop. A musician for the modern age, Hanas has amassed a huge following on TikTok and Instagram – platforms where she hopes to inspire young women to get involved in the music industry and fight against discrimination.​


11)Iris Harley is a vocalist with a broad range and stunning intonation. She was influenced by Nat King Cole and Ella Fitzgerald and has followed her dream to express her feelings in music and lyrics. Her previous self-penned release, and her current release ‘Loud Love’ are both about love – the first about the ‘wow’ and newness of it all when you click with someone, and the latter is about the emotions of love and its vastness. Her music is skilfully delivered with jazz, R&B, and soul influences – two records so far and more to come.

12) Ruta Di is a singer and guitarist as well as a songwriter. She plays an inventive blend of neo-soul and jazz-influenced music with moving lyrics. Her debut album in 2019 ‘Hooligan’ was widely acclaimed and she has played at Pizza Express live in Holborn, London, and at the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival. Jazz FM and the BBC have both played her music. During lockdowns, she produced three instrumental compositions in collaboration with artist Anna Polukord, and her album ‘Yellow Summer’ (2022) is available widely.

13) Kellylee Evans is a Juno award-winning Canadian artist. Her album ‘Fight or Flight’ was nominated for a Juno award and her following album ‘Nina’ duly won the award. Her five-song EP ‘Greenlight’ is based on recovery. She has collaborated with other musicians, performed at the Edmonton and Vancouver Jazz Festivals, and has opened for George Benson, Dianne Reeves, Tony Bennett, and other artists. Struck by lightning in 2013, her career was on a hiatus until she returned in 2018 and received another Juno nomination for her album ‘Come On’.

14) Diane Nalini is an award-winning ukulele player who has performed at festivals and given gala performances for Bill Clinton and Paul McCartney. She was nominated for the Grande Prix de Jazz General Motors at the 2002 Montreal International Jazz Festival and that same year won second place in the UK’s Young Jazz Vocalist of the Year Awards. She has led on five albums, all of which have been warmly received and her music has been featured in films, TV programs games. She teaches ukulele and offers classes at festivals. Her website ‘Ukulele for Jazz Singers’ is a resource for those wanting to learn more about this combination and she has developed lessons for ukulele magazines. Nalini also the Ukulele Jazz Festival online in 2022.

15) Mette Rasmussen is a Danish saxophone player based in Trondheim, Norway. Her improvised music draws on many influences and her free-blowing, hard-hitting sounds, tempered by sweet lyrical interludes crease soundscapes and pictorial imagery in music.

She explores the range of the saxophone and has played alongside Alan Silva, Chris Corsano, Stale Liavik Solberg and with her trio Trio Riot, Sam Andrae and Davi=d Meier. She is also part of the Fire! Orchestra ensemble. Her fiery delivery and technical prowesss have won her many fans.


16) Maria Chiara Argirò is from Rome but is now based in London. She is a pianist, synth player, composer, and producer. She is well-known in London's jazz scene for her dramatic, atmospheric jazz and her use of electronic soundscapes and vocals in her performances. She has been a presence on the UK jazz scene for over a decade, and collaborations include the indie band These New Puritans, jazz troupe Kinkajous, the duo Moonfish, and Jamie Leeming. With Leeming and their album ‘Flow,’ she received a nomination for album of the year in the Jazz Revelations Awards and was the Guardian’s jazz album of the month. She and Leeming have a new project ‘Aramii’ the first of the 2Ep tracks, ‘Tidal’ is released on 29th August, and the second ‘Dusk’ featuring Jono McCleery is released on 29th September on Cavalo Records/PIAS distribution.



Useful links



Part 1 of this series was published in July and here is a link to the article. It features Meilana Gillard, Sasha Berliner, Ginger Bennett, Shannon Barnett, Macy O, Laura Ainsworth, Lauren Dalrymple and Cassie Watson Francillon



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