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Girls in the Band

Celebrating the Ladies who Swing the Band!










The Often Untold Stories of Musicians Who Paved the Way for Women in Jazz are Given Voice Through Dance, Music, and Film in Concerto Dance’s Original Evening Length Work, Girls in the Band.

Written, Directed and Choreographed by Jolene Konkel with costume design by Amy Hill

in collaboration with the award winning documentary film by Judy Chaikin.


Women have played a role in jazz from the very beginning, but often their contributions and stories have been largely unknown and untold. In a new, high-energy original production that fuses dance, music, narration, and film, Twin Cities based dance company, Concerto Dance seeks to highlight the contributions of female jazz pioneers, from the composers and arrangers behind-the-scenes of some of the most well-known male big bands of the swing era, to the all-female big bands formed in the 1930’s and 40’s, through the decades to women in jazz today.


"THE GIRLS IN THE BAND (documentary film) tells the poignant, stories of female jazz and big band instrumentalists and their fascinating, groundbreaking journeys from the late 30s to the present day.

These incredibly talented women endured sexism, racism and diminished opportunities for decades, yet continued to persevere, inspire and elevate their talents in a field that seldom welcomed them. 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." - Judy Chaikin

Girls in the Band is an important work that both educates and entertains as it reveals the history and contributions of female composers, arrangers and musicians in jazz. Women who did not let others define them, but who overcame obstacles and bias to pursue their gifts and passions with strength, courage and skill to create some of the best work jazz has to offer. As an all female artistic team, cast and crew, it is our privilege to tell this story!” - Jolene Konkel



What Audiences are Saying:


"Absolutely loved the combination of dance and film! Incredible!"


"The show was fantastic in every way! Just want more!!!"


"The program was so different from most dance performances. It was about a subject that most of the audience members knew nothing about. It was like a live documentary with the inclusion of real footage on film, actors playing the roles of the historical women in jazz, and then seein

g the interpretation of what we had just learned through extraordinary dancing. It flowed seamlessly. Bravo!"

Meet the Cast and Crew

PC: Bill Cameron

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