About Monika

Vast knowledge; boundless, focused energy and talent; generosity of spirit; cheerful and outgoing personality, and can-do attitude which benefits all whose lives she has touched, Monika Herzig is our Jazz Hero.

The Jazz Journalists Association, 2015

In Her Hands: Key Changes in Jazz

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The new documentary by award-winning filmmaker Kay D. Ray is making the screening rounds and we’re excited to have two showings with music and discussions in Indiana. Below is the description for this very timely and important account of the barriers that female instrumentalists in jazz are facing. The first screening will be in Evansville, Sunday, March 3, 2:30pm at the Bokeh Lounge combined with music by Monika Herzig with special guests Destiny Muhammad and Karina Colis. The second screening is Wednesday, March 6, 11:15 at Indiana University in SPEA 272 followed by a catered panel discussion at 12:30pm in the SPEA Atrium. And the filmmaker will be in attendance in person for both screenings.

Kay D. Ray and Patrice Rushen

About Kay D. Ray: Returning to Seattle from film and video work in Vancouver, B. C. and Los Angeles, producer and director Kay D. Ray worked with Microsoft Studios for four years and was the senior film producer for Experience Music Project where she developed and created over 85 films and directed numerous interviews.

In Her Hands explores women’s visions and how they are taking it in their own hands to make the needed changes to get equality in the Jazz world today. Enjoy the trailer –

Women are fighting for blind auditions. They are pursuing their music passion no matter what the obstacles and pushing for performance and recording opportunities. They are providing positive role models and nurturing young women musicians. They are encouraging women to become involved in performance and composition.

Join Monika Herzig’s group Sheroes, on their second tour as they introduce issues facing women jazz today. With concert footage and interviews from Sheroes and women musicians around the US, from New York to Louisville, Seattle to the Bay Area, women around the country are making sure women and young girl musicians have the opportunities in the field of jazz Interviews with Anat Cohen, Grace Kelly, Ingrid Jensen, Naomi Moon Seigel, Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra, Marge Rosen, Montclair Women’s Big Band, Ellen Seeling, Jean Fineberg, DIVA, and Sherrie Maricle.

“Music has no gender.” – Anat Cohen

“There really weren’t female role models when I first started the saxophone.” – Grace Kelly

There’s no school that I can think of right now that is nailing this.” – Ingrid Jensen

“We need education that reaches all of our women, all of our students.” – Sarah Cline

JEN @ 10

The 10th Annual Jazz Education Network (JEN) Conference took place January 9-12 in Reno, NV Image may contain: Monika Herzig and John Hasse, people smiling, people standingthis year. As a board member for six years and current head of the Research Committee, I’ve been at all gatherings and it’s a joy to see the organization grow and increase programming and impact every year. Most of all, this is as former president Caleb Chapman calls it “the jazz party of the year”. It’s a great reunion with friends and colleagues from all over the world – time to exchange news, perform together and listen to each other’s groups, learn from the clinics and research sessions, and find the newest publications and instruments in the exhibit hall. And most of all, thousands of music students from all over the world perform, listen, and jam the night away. Here are some of my favorite moments from this year’s conference.

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On Wednesday evening at the JENeral Session scholarships and awards were given to deserving students and educators. And in celebration of the 10th Anniversary an especially commissioned piece by Greg Yasinitsky was premiered with the JEN All Stars – it was an honor to hold down the piano chair in the group – here is the video.

On Thursday, I was able to program a full day of inspiring research presentations. Scholars shared their findings on music, teaching, history, psychology, and so much more. We are launching JAZZ Jazz Education in Research and Practice this year, a new journal where many of these fascinating projects will be published. Here is more info about the journal and here is a video impression of the research poster sessions on Friday.

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The first edition of the Sisters in Jazz, selected by auditions for this JEN conference, showcased their talents and camaraderie – it’s exciting to see this very special program back in action. Here is a video from the concert.

And we screened Kay D. Ray’s new documentary “In Her Hands: Key Changes in Jazz” – centered around the tour and recording of Sheroes with commentary and thoughts by leaders such as Grace Kelly, Ingrid Jensen, Anat Cohen, Ellen Seeling, and many more – well done!

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And of course on Saturday, the Sheroes got to perform – this edition included Jamie Baum on flute, Roxy Coss on tenor sax, Leigh Pilzer on bari sax, Natalie Boeyink on bass, and Karina Colis on drums – enjoy the House of the Rising Sun!

It’s impossible to even scratch the surface of all the exciting events. Of course what was especially heart-warming for me was a notable increase in female participation throughout the conference from the Sisters in Jazz, the Three Divas, Chica Power from Jazz House Kids, to Seattle Jazz Girls, and many, many leaders. And the hang!!!

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– 2018 –

It’s the night of Winter Solstice 2018 – a good time to reflect on a year nearly gone and a new year ready to bring new adventures. Come on a journey with me  – and please share yours also: read more…

Peace on Earth – 10th Anniversary!

It was July 2008, in the middle of summer, when we went into the studio to record a collection of songs with a winter and holiday theme. My mission for this album was to create a sense of global unity, peace, and companionship. Most cultures and communities celebrate the middle of Winter in order to brighten up the darkest days of the year, to prepare for a new year, to gather with friends and families. Peace on Earth was the theme of my collection – and its become a yearly celebration, get ready for the December 13, 2018 edition, our 10th anniversary. Read on for a taste of what to expect and mark the calendars. read more…

Sheroes Fall Tour 2018 – Impressions

Come with us on tour – October 25-November 1, Sheroes  – here is a recap of pictures, videos, thoughts, places, new friends, new music and more. Sheroes Jamie Baum – flute, Reut Regev – trombone, Leni Stern – guitar, Jennifer Vincent – bass, Karina Colis – drums, Monika Herzig – piano, and honorary Hero Peter Kienle on bass and driving the van came together for five concerts at the East Coast and Midwest. read more…