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Jazz Groundbreakers:
The Girls in the Band

They wiggled. They jiggled. They wore low-cut gowns and short shorts. They kow-towed to the club owners and smiled at the customers…and they did it all just to play the music they loved. The Girls In The Band tells the poignant, untold stories of female jazz musicians and their fascinating, groundbreaking journeys from the late 1930s to the present day. These incredibly talented women endured sexism, racism and diminished opportunities for decades, yet continued to persevere, inspire and elevate their talents in a field that seldom welcomed them.Today a new breed of gifted young women are taking their rightful place in the world of jazz, which can no longer deny their talents.

NYWIFT invites you to attend a special screening of The Girls In The Band on Thursday, May 16th at the walter Reade Theater, 165 West 65th Street.  Screening time is 7:00 pm, followed by a panel of Jazz greats and a reception.

Judy Chaikin
 is Director and a Writer of Girls in the Band. She is best known for writing,  producing and directing the Emmy-nominated PBS documentary Legacy of the Hollywood Blacklist. She received her second Emmy nomination for the documentary Building on a Dream:The NoHo Art Project. Recently she directed and co-wrote the short romantic-comedy film, Cotillion ‘65, which has appeared in 40 film festivals. Chaikin was a Supervising Producer/Segment Director on the ABC series FBI: The Untold Stories; a Co-Producer of the CBS Movie Of The Week Stolen Innocence; and the Writer/Director of the bi-lingual PBS documentary Los Pastores. She won the Blue Ribbon at the American Educational Film and TV Festival for the docu-drama Sojourner Truth: Ain’t I A Woman.  

Nancy Kissock
is Producer/Post Production Supervisor of Girls in the Band. She made her mark in the advertising world as a producer of commercials for DDB Needham, Foote Cone & Belding Advertising, Goodby Silverstein Partners, BBDO/Chicago and Saatchi & Saatchi/Pacific.  She has worked with such clients as Honda, ARCO, Foster Farms, Continental Airlines and MTV. She also produced numerous movie trailers, including Men in Black, LA Confidential and Wild Bill. Kissock began her working relationship with Judy Chaikin as the Producer of the award winning short comedy Cotillion ‘65.

Jami Dauber
was the first female trumpet player in the world-renowned One O'clock Lab Band. After a brief stint in Branson, Missouri, Jami relocated to New York City, joined DIVA in early 1995, and has been the Manager of the band since 2004. She has studied trumpet with Don "Jake" Jacoby, Victor Paz, Laurie Frink, and John McNeil. Jami enjoys an active freelance career and has subbed on such Broadway shows as West Side Story, Little Mermaid, The Producers, Wonderful Town, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Man of La Mancha, Music Man,Showboat, Titanic, and Little Me, starring Martin Short. Jami can be heard on six of DIVA's CDs: Johnny Mandel - A Man & His Music, Live at Dizzy's, T.N.T. - Tommy Newsom Tribute, Live in Concert, I Believe in You, and Leave it to DIVA, which includes Jami's arrangement of Makin' Whoopee.

Virginia Mayhew
 is a saxophonist, composer, arranger has lead her own groups for over 25 years. She currently leads several quartets, a quintet, and a septet. In the course of her career, Virginia has worked with renowned artists from Earl ‘Fatha’ Hines, Cab Calloway, Frank Zappa, James Brown, Norman Simmons, Al Grey, Junior Mance, Joe Williams, Chico O'Farrill, Marlena Shaw, to Toshiko Akiyoshi, Kenny Barron, Leon Parker, Ingrid Jensen, Claudio Roditi, Nnenna Freelon, and many others. Virginia has appeared in most of New York City's major jazz venues (including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Town Hall, Jazz Standard, Blue Note, Sweet Basil, Smalls), and has performed throughout the United States, Europe, Australia, Southeast Asia as well as in the Caribbean and Bermuda. Early in her career, Virginia worked with veteran trombonist Al Grey for several years. She is featured on his 1992 release, FAB (Capri), and contributed several arrangements to his 1995 CD, Centerpiece.

Allison Miller is a NYC-based drummer and leader of the band, Boom Tic Boom.  Allison has played with vocalists Ani DiFranco, Brandi Carlile and Natalie Merchant and has toured with avant-garde saxophonist Marty Ehrlich and legendary organist Doctor Lonnie Smith. Allison is currently celebrating the release of her second solo leader album, Boom Tic Boom, which was named one of the “Top 10 Jazz Albums of 2010” by the LA Times. She also co-leads several other bands, including EMMA, with singer/songwriter Erin McKeown; Honey Ear Trio with Rene and Eskelin/Deutsch/Miller featuring Ellery Eskelin and Erik Deutsch. Allison also produced the critically acclaimed children's album. Ask the Planet which was awarded the “National Parent Award” in 2009. In 2008 Allison holds an adjunct teaching position at Kutztown University and gives lessons and master classes NYU, UMASS Amherst, Jazz Camp West, University of Alaska, Elon University, University of Southern Florida, West Virginia University, Berkeley Jazz School, University of the Pacific, UC Berkeley and the University of Maryland.

Deborah Weisz
’s life in music has been filled with diversity—from playing in the Sahara Desert, just North of Timbuktu, with Roswell Rudd’s Trombone Shout Band (2004), to creating music in a grain silo at an artist colony in upstate New York, to traveling all over the world with Frank Sinatra (1987 - 1994); trombonist/composer. As a young musician coming up in the public school music programs there was plenty of opportunity to play all styles of music, but Deborah was always attracted to jazz and improvisation. “I had many wonderful teachers, in particular, Mr. Pat Lebs. He was my band director my first two years of high school. While working with me on Ave Maria, as a solo piece, he would have me sing the melody and spoke about how I should always focus on ‘singing’ through my trombone."

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NYWIFT programs, screenings and events are supported, in part, by grants from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts