Women in Jazz - a British organisation created to showcase female talent within the genre - has today (International Women's Day) launched the second episode in its Uncovered series featuring London-based jazz drummer Jas Kayser.
The series was launched in February as a way of shining a light on female musicians within jazz and its related genres, as a positive counteraction to reported discrimination and sexual harassment experienced by women performing in the genre.
Further to this, a 2019 study by former BASCA CEO, Vick Bain revealed that just 5% of UK jazz musicians are female, while 14.18% of female artists are signed to publishers and 19.69% female Artists are signed to record labels.
In the video above, Jas Kayser talks about her inspiration and early days as a drummer, as well as being enlisted by Lenny Kravitz and attending Berklee College of Music where she not only gained undergraduate and masters degrees, but was mentored by Terri Lyne Carrington.
Jas herself has spoken out about the discrimination she has experienced as a musician, including recent interviews with inews, where she recalls being denied the drum chair in her school big band despite being told her audition was stronger than her male competition, and an appearance on BBC Radio 4’s Woman's Hour.
The interview precedes a performance of Kayser’s composition Feel It, taken from her 2020 EP, Unforced Rhythm of Grace - written and recorded as a tribute to Fela Kuti.
Of the Uncovered series, Women in Jazz’s Louise Paley says, “We believe that celebrating the talents of women will help inspire the next generation of Artists. Our new digital platform champions the top female talent in Jazz, exploring their artistry through live performance and storytelling”.
Subscribe to the Women in Jazz YouTube channel to catch the upcoming episodes, set to go live throughout 2021.