Ladies igNite, an evening of jazz and blues music played and sung by women, will celebrate female musicians and International Women’s Day.
The third annual concert, Monday at Rhythm & Rye, is the latest incarnation of an International Women’s Day concert that’s been happening in some form or other in Olympia since 2004.
It all started as a birthday celebration for bassist Lorree Gardener, part of the Latin jazz ensemble Bevy.
“My birthday is on International Women’s Day,” Gardener said of the March 8 event. “Somebody wanted to have a birthday party for me, and I said, ‘Let’s focus more on International Women’s Day.’ ”
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The event has evolved through the years, from its beginnings as Women’s Way at ArtHouse to its present incarnation.
It’s powerful for me to just be with a group of women and hear women’s voices.”
Susan Tuzzolino, organizer and mistress of ceremonies
True to its roots, the event is a celebration.
“It’s always been a celebration of women first and foremost,” said Gardener, who helps to organize Ladies igNite and plays in the rhythm section, which accompanies other performers throughout the evening. “Beyond that, there are so many women who sing or play an instrument but aren’t in a band, so they don’t get much chance to play, especially in public.”
Men are, of course, welcome in the audience. (Yes, people do ask.) “We all want to celebrate women,” she said.
It’s the chance for women to play together that sets this event apart from other shows, said Susan Tuzzolino, a singer and the event’s main organizer and mistress of ceremonies.
“It’s all women all night long,” she said. “There are no men on the stage.
“It’s powerful for me to just be with a group of women and hear women’s voices.”
She’s particularly excited about “Women We Are,” composed and sung by Anjali Silva-Natarajan. Tuzzolino will join Jamie Jenson and Sonja Wiedenhaupt on background vocals.
“It’s a beautiful, uplifting song about the power of women to support each other, and that’s what this show is about,” she said. “We not only ignite the stage, we ignite each other. We lift each other up. That’s what’s really important about this event.”
What: Female jazz and blues musicians from Olympia and beyond gather to celebrate International Women’s Day.
When: 8 p.m. Monday.
Where: Rhythm & Rye, 311 Capitol Way N., Olympia.
Tickets: $5 suggested donation.
Anchoring the event is a rhythm section that will play all evening. It includes Lorree Gardener, bass; Nelda Swiggett, piano, vocals and composition; and Darlene Jones, drums. Joining them onstage will be mistress of ceremonies and vocalist Susan Tuzzolino; Betsy Perkins, composition, vocals and percussion; Joanne Green, vocals; Jamie Jenson, vocals; Anjali Silva-Natarajan, vocals and composition; Jacqueline Schafer, vocals and bass; Danielle Westbrook, vocals and trumpet; Lisa Seifert, flute and clarinet; Nancy Curtis, saxophone and flute; Kathy Scarborough, violin; Sonja Wiedenhaupt, vocals and flute; Alison Metheny, bass, vocals and composition; and Sheila Hennan, vocals.