Recognition for female instrumentalists in Jazz is rare enough, and it’s even tougher for women in Latin Jazz. Most Latin cultures are still, shall we say, a bit chauvinistic.
Here are two women who have overcome cultural and other barriers to follow their dreams of creating music:
Toronto-based Jane Bunnett is a multiple Juno Award winning saxophonist, flutist, pianist and bandleader. Her first trip to Cuba in 1982 introduced her to the music and musicians that have since fueled her artistic vision. She and her husband Larry Cramer support the music conservatories of Cuba by organizing instrument repair-and-replacement missions called The Spirit of Music program.
Rebeca Mauleon is a keyboardist, bandleader, composer, GRAMMY-nominated producer and educator as well as author and reviewer. She’s written books that have become indispensable resources for musicians: The Latin Real Book, 101 Montunos, and my personal favorite, The Salsa Guidebook. Somehow she also finds time to teach at City College of San Francisco.