MUSE/IQUE, known for its inspired, unexpected live music events curated by noted artistic director/conductor Rachael Worby, continues its “Uncorked Series” with a spotlight on female jazz musicians on Monday, November 11, 2013, 7 pm, at the expansive Avon Distribution Center in Pasadena. The program at Avon, itself long a symbol of female empowerment, opens with a screening of the acclaimed award-winning documentary film The Girls in the Band, which traces the history of women jazz artists from the 1930s through present day, exposing sexism and racism faced by the immensely talented women who broke through primarily male music bastions. Avon, according to Fortune magazine, is the world’s fifth largest cosmetic company and second largest direct selling company, with 6.4 million independent sales representatives, primarily female, in more than 140 countries. Capping the evening are an interactive panel discussion with the film’s director Judy Chaikin and some of the celebrated artists in the film, moderated by Worby, as well as musical interludes performed by some of the current leading ladies of jazz, including saxophonist Mindi Abair, who has appeared with Josh Groban, Lee Ritenour and the Backstreet Boys, among many others. A complimentary pre-concert cocktail hour for ticket holders, with “popcorn fare” and music by an all-female jazz ensemble from Westridge High School in Pasadena, begins at 6 pm followed by the 7 pm program.
“The amazing women in this film and the guest artists joining us show the remarkable power of jazz to empower, transcend and lift the soul no matter what challenges stand in the way of making music,” says Worby. “And Avon’s extraordinary record of advancing women around the globe make it the perfect location for this particular Uncorked event.”
The Girls in the Band, executive produced/produced by Michael Greene and produced Nancy Kissock, was lauded by the New York Times as “everything a worthwhile documentary should be, and then some: engaging, informative, thorough and brimming with delightful characters.” Chaikin, best known for writing, producing and directing the Emmy nominated PBS documentary, Legacy of the Hollywood Blacklist, was hailed by the Los Angeles Times for infusing “this fine portrait with grace, nostalgia and a well-calibrated dose of social commentary.” The film tells the poignant, untold stories of female jazz and big band instrumentalists and their fascinating, groundbreaking journeys from the late 30?s to the present day, the film depicts how they wiggled, jiggled, wore low cut gowns and short shorts, kowtowed to the club owners and smiled at the customers just to play the music they loved. According to Chaikin, these incredibly talented women endured sexism, racism and diminished opportunities for decades, yet they continued to persevere, inspire and elevate their talents in a field that seldom welcomed them. And today, there is a new breed of gifted young women taking their rightful place in the world of jazz, which can no longer deny their talents.
MUSE/IQUE’s “Uncorked Series” is made possible in part by the Pasadena Arts and Culture Commission and the City of Pasadena Cultural Affairs Division.
Avon is located at 2940 E. Foothill Blvd. Pasadena, CA 91121. Ample free parking is available. Tickets are $50 per person. Tickets are also free with MUSE/IQUE membership, which ranges from $125 to $1,000 and includes a variety of special benefits. For tickets and membership information, please call 626-539-7085 or visit www.muse-ique.org.
MUSE/IQUE, known for its inspired, unexpected live music events, connects master artists with new voices across a limitless range of styles. Its counter-conventional performances, which feel more like parties than formal concerts, link musicians with great thinkers and compelling visual, cinematic and dance artists. In the two years since MUSE/IQUE was founded by Artistic Director Rachael Worby, it has grown from one performance with a handful of devoted followers to a major cultural presence that reaches vast audiences. Its considerable membership currently numbers more than 500 people. In the fall and spring, MUSE/IQUE presents “Uncorked Series” evenings at unconventional locations, and in the summer MUSE/IQUE features three outdoor “music parties” at Caltech’s Beckman Mall, all curated by the innovative and visionary Worby. Among MUSE/IQUE’s guest artists are Jessye Norman, Charlie Haden, Patti Austin, Mary Wilson, Flea, Rickie Lee Jones, Ellis Hall, Matt Haimovitz, Angela Bassett, Arturo Sandoval and more. Uncorked’s “pop-up” venues have included Pasadena’s Phoenix Decorating Center (where Rose Parade floats are constructed), Art Center College of Design Sculpture Garden, Castle Press (one of the nation’s largest printing presses), backstage at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium and others. KIDS/IQUE!, a primary element of the organization, serves boys and girls, ages 12 to 18, in the San Gabriel Valley’s network of foster care services by presenting ongoing interactive experiences with professional musicians and other artists designed to complement the service goals of the foster care facilities even as they allow MUSE/IQUE to reach otherwise underserved youth. Other outreach programs include free and low-cost tickets for students and community groups, and “Free For All,” a free annual concert featuring a fusion of music with family friendly surprises.
RACHAEL WORBY, hailed by the Los Angeles Times as “inspiring and accessible,” is that rare conductor who is a skilled communicator with wide-ranging repertoire ranging from symphonic, operatic, pops and classics to 21st century music. Worby has guest conducted the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Barcelona Opera Orchestra, Brazilian Symphony Orchestra, Bucharest Philharmonic Orchestra, Israel Chamber Orchestra, Manchester Camerata, Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra, New York City Ballet, Québec Symphony Orchestra, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Seattle Symphony Orchestra and Seoul Philharmonic, among others. She also conducted the China Philharmonic Orchestra in Beijing and the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, accompanying acclaimed American soprano Jessye Norman in her first appearances in mainland China. Worby founded MUSE/IQUE in 2011 to bring fresh perspective to live music and multidisciplinary arts. She previously served as Music Director of the Pasadena Pops Orchestra (2000-2010), music director and conductor of the Young Peoples’ Concerts at Carnegie Hall and assistant conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Worby first rose to prominence during her 17-year tenure as music director of the Symphony Orchestra in Wheeling, West Virginia. A hallmark of her career has been making education outreach and community engagement integral to main season offerings. In addition to appearing in grand concert halls, Worby has led some of the world’s best musicians at locations ranging from the coalfields of West Virginia to community centers in Harlem and South Central Los Angeles. She received the Spirit of Achievement from Albert Einstein College, the Women of Excellence award from the YWCA, the degree Doctor of Humanities, honorus causa from Marshall University, and the Presidential Medal of Honor for her lifetime achievements from Claremont University. She also received a Presidential appointment to the National Council of the Arts. As First Lady of West Virginia (1990-1997), Worby hosted the acclaimed Arts and Letters Series broadcast on public television, featuring such luminaries as Carl Sagan and Harry Belafonte, led the groundbreaking statewide campaign, “Thanks A Million,” to raise one million dollars to eradicate illiteracy, and was responsible for the creation of The Governor’s School for the Arts.
JUDY CHAIKIN, a graduate of AFI’s Directing Workshop for Women, is best known for writing, producing and directing the Emmy nominated PBS documentary, “Legacy of the Hollywood Blacklist.” In 2004, she received her second Emmy nomination for the documentary “Building on a Dream: The NoHo Art Project.” Recently she directed and co-wrote the short romantic-comedy film, “Cotillion ’65,” which has appeared in 40 film festivals winning Best Short, Best Comedy, Best Director and Audience Choice Awards. Chaikin was a Supervising Producer/Segment Director on the ABC series, “FBI: The Untold Stories,” a Co-Producer of the CBS Movie Of The Week, “Stolen Innocence,” the Writer/Director of the bi-lingual PBS documentary, “Los Pastores” and in 1996 she won the Blue Ribbon at the American Educational Film and TV Festival for the docu-drama, “Sojourner Truth:Ain’t I A Woman,” featuring Julie Harris. Her other directing work includes the MTV underground hit by Kommunity FK “Something Inside Me Has Died,” the Nickelodeon series “On The Television,” the Broadway production of “Yenta Unplugged” and the Odyssey Theater production of Martin Sherman‘s “Rose.”
President/CEO of The Artist Tribe LLC, Michael GreenE is a veteran of the Entertainment, Fine Arts, Communications and Media Development industries. Greene began his career as a recording artist/songwriter with Warner Brothers, Mercury and GRC Recording companies. He worked with artists such as Lionel Richie, Kenny Loggins, Sammy Hagar, Kansas and a host of other top artists. In 1988 Greene became the first President/CEO of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS), the organization that produces the Grammy Awards. Greene served as CEO for 14 years. Greene also founded two 501 C-3 Foundations during his Academy years: The Grammy Foundation which spends over 4 million dollars annually providing grants and educational programs and The Musicares Foundation which provides financial grants, substance abuse intervention, treatment and educational programs to music professionals in need.
NANCY KISSOCK made her mark in the advertising world as a producer of commercials for some of the biggest advertising agencies in America including DDB Needham, Foote Cone & Belding Adv., Goodby Silverstein Partners, BBDO/Chicago, Saatchi & Saatchi/Pacific, where she was in charge of major clients such as Honda, ARCO, Foster Farms, Continental Airlines, VISA, DSW, McDonald’s, Hallmark, Charles Schwab, Blue Cross of CA, DSW, Target, MTV (LeBron James). She has produced numerous movie trailers including “Men in Black”, “LA Confidential”, “Wild Bill” and for Jim Henson Productions plus short films and industrial projects. Kissock began her working relationship with Judy Chaikin as the Producer of the award winning short comedy “Cotillion ’65.”