Since 2010, the Western Illinois Museum has partnered with the Al Sears Jazz Festival, providing programs that explore the history and build appreciation of jazz to enhance the festival performances. This year the museum will screen the documentary film, The Girls in the Bandon Wednesday, September 16 at 7:00 pm. Suggested donation: $5.
Women’s contributions to jazz are often overlooked in the history of the genre. The 2014 film The Girls in the Band, tells the poignant, untold stories of female jazz instrumentalists and their fascinating, groundbreaking journeys from the late 20’s to the present day. These incredibly talented women endured sexism, racism and diminished opportunities for decades, yet continue today to persevere, inspire and elevate their talents in a field that seldom welcomed them. Producer and Director Judy Chaikin fills in these missing pieces of the story of jazz, opening our eyes with a film that first exposes the many challenges women faced, and then motivates us to acknowledge all musicians for their talent, regardless of gender or race.