SWIJ Logo by Bob Suh

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Jessica Davis

FOUNDER / DIRECTOR / BOARD MEMBER

Jessica Davis has been an active member of Seattle’s jazz scene, as a concert producer and promoter, performer, journalist, and the producer/director of “Jazz TV.” She graduated from the University of WA with a BA in Communications and has written for over 30 newspapers in the Seattle area. Jessica is also the producer/director of a documentary, currently in post-production, called “In Between the Raindrops,” that features interviews with music legends Quincy Jones, Clark Terry, and Ernestine Anderson, among others. She produced two successfully sold-out concerts, titled “Seattle Jazz Legends in Concert,” in conjunction with the documentary. Jessica has also been awarded grants from Seattle’s Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs and the Allied Arts Foundation. www.jessicadavis.net

 

Amanda Wilde

BOARD MEMBER

Radio host and producer Amanda Wilde is known for her eclectic knowledge of music and captivating interviews. For an ever-increasing global audience, she highlights musical connections and unravels the cultural threads that tie style, artist, and era to one another. A key figure in the development of cutting-edge Seattle music station KEXP, Amanda hosted its afternoon drive 1993-2005. Amanda was tapped by KUOW in 2003 and to host and produce the acclaimed music program The Swing Years and Beyond. Amanda’s groundbreaking audio projects exploring the role of music in popular culture can be sampled on KUOW and at her website, http://wildeworldproductions.com/ 

 

Amanda‘s work has been recognized with awards, grants, and fellowships for interviews, documentaries, and oral history works. In 2014, Seattle Women in Jazz presented Amanda with the first annual “Amanda Wilde Inspire Award” for outstanding contributions to the jazz community. She is currently a lecturer on music in culture for Humanities Washington.

 

Leah Natale

BOARD MEMBER

Jazz Vocalist, Leah Natale won the 2013 Seattle/Kobe Female Jazz Vocalist of the year. She has freelanced with several bands throughout Chicago and Minneapolis. Leah studied with Richard Davis, bass player for Sarah Vaughn. She has produced three CDs, including "My Someday," which was recorded with a 10-piece jazz orchestra and was released in 2007 and "Swing Easy," produced in 2011. Her songs can be heard on several radio stations throughout the country and have been well received throughout Japan. Leah performs regularly with Ambience, a four-piece band from Seattle that specializes in jazz from the golden era of American music, as well as Brazilian and other Latin genres.

 

Nancy Erickson

BOARD MEMBER

Nancy Erickson has been bringing her rich, melodic vocals to the Pacific NW Jazz scene for over 3 decades. Hailed as “one of our best contemporary singers – full of feeling, wit… and a thoroughly winning originality” (Michael Steinman – Jazz Lives), Nancy studied jazz, music theory, choral music & jazz improvisation under Frank DeMiero, Al Galante, Rick Asher, and Johnaye Kendrick. As a student she performed in the North Sea Jazz Festival, the Montreux Jazz Festival.

Professionally, Nancy was lead singer in the jazz band After Hours in the 80s & 90s, sang backup with the Northwest R&B band Freddy Pink as well as Nearly Dan (a Steely Dan tribute band) and performed with NW soul artist Bernadette Bascom. Notable appearances have been with Matt Catingub, Tom Kubis, Mavis Staples, and Lenny Williams. In 2012  Nancy won the Seattle-Kobe Jazz Vocalist competition at Jazz Alley, resulting in performances in Kobe, Japan. She has released 3 well-received solo albums since 2011. Nancy teaches private voice and is currently the choral & jazz band II director at Glacier Peak High School & choral director at Valley View Middle School in Snohomish, WA. NancyEricksonSings.com

 

Megan Vinther

BOARD MEMBER

Educator, clinician, and performer Megan Vinther has been the Director of Bands at Everett High School since 2010. She previously taught at North Middle School in Everett, and Siuslaw High School in Florence, Oregon. She holds Master of Music and Bachelor of Music degrees in music education from the University of Oregon. Megan has been named in "Who's Who in America's Teachers," received an Outstanding Educator award from the Washington State Parent Teacher Association, and has led bands to Superior ratings at various festivals and contests throughout her career. While working in Oregon, her jazz band placed third in a nation-wide contest sponsored by Selmer Music Company and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, and her wind ensemble placed among the top 10 bands of their division at state contest every year. Under her direction, the EHS Jazz Band was one of twelve finalists from around the country for the Swing Central Jazz Competition in Savannah, Georgia in 2015, and placed first in the University of Portland Jazz festival in 2018. EHS Jazz Band partners with other area bands annually to put on "Grey Matters" - a benefit for brain cancer research every May. Megan is passionate about teaching jazz to young people and mentoring future music educators. She performs regularly with the Northwest Jazz Conspiracy and the Stumbling Fiddler Celtic band. 

 

Roxy Coss

BOARD MEMBER - NEW YORK

Musician, Composer, Bandleader, Educator and Activist Roxy Coss is the 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 four years in a row, and a Downbeat Magazine review called her "An exceptional young talent”. Originally from Seattle, and a fixture on the New York scene for the past ten years, she has performed extensively around the world. Roxy has headlined major Jazz Festivals and Venues around the world, including the Newport Jazz Festival, Melbourne Big Band Festival, Ballard Jazz Festival, The Jazz Standard, Jazz Showcase, Cafe Stritch, The Nash, Merriman’s Playhouse, and Side Door Cafe, among others. Her Quintet has held residencies at New York City clubs including SMOKE Jazz Club and Club Bonafide, and appears frequently around NYC. Roxy was also featured on Harry, the nationally syndicated television show hosted by Harry Connick, Jr.

Roxy is also the Founder and Director of the Women in Jazz Organization, a collective of professional jazz musicians who identify as women, gender neutral or non-binary.  The organization aims to empower the individuals within, as well as come together to empower the larger community of jazz musicians who identify as women or non-binary as a whole. Learn more at www.roxycoss.com.

Kirsten Gilmore

MARKETING INTERN

Kirsten is a vocalist and percussionist from the Seattle area, currently studying Music Education and Women’s Studies at Seattle Pacific University. Born and raised in a suburb of Seattle, she has studied voice for over 7 years with local artists and educators such as Shelley Logan, Tina Beveridge, and Dr. Cherie Hughes, and currently studies percussion with Dan Adams. Over the last two years at SPU, Kirsten has had the opportunity to research gender disparity in high school and college jazz bands, as well as interview several female music educators and jazz band directors about their own experiences. She is a member of the SPU Wind Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, Ethnic Drum Ensemble, and Women’s Choir, and is currently the guitarist for the SPU student-run big band Ultraviolet Jazz. As a future music educator, Kirsten hopes to gain experience through Seattle Women in Jazz that will help her foster more diverse and inclusive experiences for generations of music students.

 
 

Jessica Heaven is a vocalist who received her Diploma in Jazz Studies from Capilano University and her degree in Anthropology and Communication from Simon Fraser University. She hopes to attend her Master in Peacebuilding and Human Security at Royal Roads University in January 2019. She is the founding board member of the Women in Jazz Association of British Columbia (www.sisterjazzbc.com) and the main writer and editor for Sister Jazz the Blog. She is the co-founder and artistic director of HEARTBEAT – a ministry of St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church (www.heartbeatvan.com). She has toured and recently released an album with her jazz trio Ptriodactyl and is looking forward to releasing two more ensemble albums in the next year (www.jessicaheaven.com). She is pleased to be the Vancouver delegate for the Seattle Women in Jazz organization and is looking forward to a strong sisterhood and collaborative relationship with the Seattle Women in Jazz! 

Jessica Heaven

BOARD MEMBER - VANCOUVER, BC, CANADA