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Changing the Tune: The Kansas City Women’s Jazz Festival, 1978-1985

Description: Even though the potential passage of the Equal Rights Amendment had cracked glass ceilings across the country, in 1978 jazz remained a boys’ club. Two Kansas City women, Carol Comer and Dianne Gregg, challenged that inequitable standard. With the support of jazz luminaries Marian McPartland and Leonard Feather, inaugural performances by Betty Carter, Mary Lou Williams, an unprecedented All-Star band of women, Toshiko Akiyoshi’s band, plus dozens of Kansas City musicians and volunteers, a casual conversation between two friends evolved into the annual Kansas City Women’s Jazz Festival (WJF). But with success came controversy. Anxious to satisfy fans of all jazz styles, WJF alienated some purists. The inclusion of male sidemen brought on protests. The egos of established, seasoned players unexpectedly clashed with those of newcomers. Undaunted, Comer, Gregg, and WJF’s ensemble of supporters continued the cause for eight years. They fought for equality not with speeches but with swing, without protest signs but with bebop. For the first book about this groundbreaking festival, Carolyn Glenn Brewer interviewed dozens of people and dove deeply into the archives. This book is an important testament to the ability of two friends to emphatically prove jazz genderless, thereby changing the course of jazz history. The Contents include: Crazy little women -- Everything's up to date in Kansas City -- Now's the time -- A beautiful friendship -- The first year, March 17-19, 1978 -- Summertime -- There's no business like show business -- Sweet Georgia Brown -- This could be the start of something big -- Spring can really hang you up the most -- Spring is here -- The second year, March 23-25, 1979 -- All of me -- Work song -- Blues Melba -- The more I see you -- You and the night and the music -- The third year, ...
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Date: March 2017
Creator: Brewer, Carolyn Glenn
Partner: UNT Libraries

[Letters from Howard Llewellyn, Alice Bowen, Jean Crocker, and Maria Pierson to the BRAC Commission - August 2005]

Description: Letters from Howard Llewellyn, Alice Bowen, Jean Crocker, and Maria Pierson to the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission (BRAC) criticizing the closing of Otis Air Guard Base in Massachusetts. Includes related poems by Crocker.
Date: August 2005
Creator: Crocker, Jean Hazelton
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department