10 Pioneering Women Who Helped Shape Jazz

“These jazz women were pioneers, and huge proponents in disseminating jazz and making it a global art form,” Hannah Grantham (musicologist at the National Museum of African American History and Culture) tells The New York Times, whose list of 10 overlooked women through the genre’s history includes pianist Lovie Austin, trumpeter Valaida Snow and violinist Ginger Smock. Though an inordinate amount of attention is placed on men in jazz, women played crucial roles on stage and behind the scenes since the genre’s beginnings—whether as composers, performers, arrangers or artist managers. “Buffeted by sexism from venue owners and record companies in the United States, they often went abroad to pursue careers in Europe or even Asia,” writes Giovanni Russonello. Valaida Snow—nicknamed the “Queen of the Trumpet” and “Little Louis”—toured for years from China to Egypt, Japan and beyond. Grantham adds, “I don’t think they’ve been given enough credit for that, because of their willingness to go everywhere.” Read more at The New York Times.