Take the Next Step: How Women and Non-Binary Individuals Can Elevate Their Jazz Career

with Roxy Coss, Founder and President of WIJO

Date Posted: March 21, 2024

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For any women or non-binary individuals looking to refine their jazz career, work with established jazz artists, and be a part of an incredibly inspirational network of musicians, WIJO is the one to join. We wanted to share this opportunity for 18-29 year old women and non-binary musicians to participate in a fantastic program with world-renowned artists. Don't let this opportunity to truly seek a career in jazz fade away. The time is now.

What is WIJO?

WIJO aims to improve the experience of women and non-binary people in jazz through focusing our work on three main goals:

  • To empowerindividuals in the organization
  • To foster inclusivity, solidarity, and strengthen the intersectional community of women and non-binary people in Jazz
  • To address inequalities in Jazz culture and on the Jazz scene through activism

Women in Jazz Organization (WIJO) was founded in July 2017. It's mission is to help level the playing field in Jazz, so that women and non-binary people have equal opportunity to participate in and contribute to Jazz, leading to an improved and more rich, diverse, and successful art form. WIJO is committed to honoring Black Americans as the creators of Jazz.

Through the success of its members, WIJO it has grown to a network of over 500 women and non-binary jazz musicians. WIJO is open for membership to professional jazz musicians year round. You can apply through their website.

Roxy Coss, President and Founder of WIJO, is one of our incredible Vandoren artists who is also a bandleader, composer, educator, and activist.

What is the Mentors Program?

"WIJO Mentors is a collegiate mentorship program designed to connect and enrich the community of women and non-binary people in Jazz."

Students are selected through an application process where each Mentee gets paired with a Mentor who is a WIJO Member, and established musician or composer. If accepted, participants will begin this no-cost program that lasts through the school year.

This is Just the Beginning

We're just scratching the surface. Many of your questions can be answered on the WIJO website or WIJO Mentors page.

Roxy Coss Circle

More on Roxy

Musician, Composer, Bandleader, Recording Artist, Educator and Activist Roxy Coss has become one of the most unique and innovative Saxophonists on the scene. Winner of a 2016 ASCAP Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award, the Downbeat Critics’ Poll listed her as a "Rising Star" on Soprano Saxophone the past six years in a row, and a Downbeat Magazine review called her "An exceptional young talent”. Roxy has been a fixture on the New York scene for over a dozen years. She has headlined extensively around the world, including major festivals and venues like the Newport Jazz Festival, Melbourne Big Band Festival, Winter Jazz Fest, BRIC Jazz Fest, Earshot Jazz Festival, San Jose Jazz Summerfest, Ballard Jazz Festival, The Jazz Standard, and Jazz Showcase, among others. Her band, the Roxy Coss Quintet, has held residencies at New York City clubs including SMOKE Jazz Club and Club Bonafide, appears frequently around NYC, and tours nationally. Roxy was also a featured guest musician on the television show Harry in 2017. She is the Founder and President of Women In Jazz Organization (WIJO), and serves on the Board of Directors for Jazz Education Network (JEN). Roxy is on Jazz Faculty at The Juilliard School. She is also an endorsing artist for P. Mauriat, Vandoren, and Keyleaves products.

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