Women in Jazz Jam Festival 2018 Featured Performers
Seasoned and versatile vocalist that genuinely loves to share her love of music with everyone. You can usually find Jeanine around town and regionally in various music projects and venues. Jeanine has participated in the Women in Jazz Jam band since the very first year and she is just as excited for this years festivities as she was from day one.
Amy K. Bormet is an in-demand pianist, vocalist, and composer. The quintet from her debut album, Striking, was featured as part of the Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival at the Kennedy Center. As an advocate for women in music, Amy created the Washington Women in Jazz Festival in 2011 and continues to serve as executive director. One of Amy K Bormet’s latest projects, Ephemera, is a platform for her new art songs with improvisation. Ephemera performed a two-week tour of Sweden.
Along with her performance career, Ms. Bormet is a prolific composer frequently combining improvisation with concert music. Recently Amy composed several pieces for the Capital City Symphony and her jazz ensemble, and premiered a concert of new works for string quartet and her jazz piano trio at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. She has been commissioned to write for Wild Up’s Work concert for classical bassist/vocalist Maggie Hasspacher, the Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra, the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, Afro-Blue, Howard University Jazz Ensemble, and the Brad Linde Ensemble among others. In addition to her albums, Amy’s recorded music can be heard in short films, radio dramas, and audio books.
Amy is an alumna of the Kennedy Center’s residency program for composer/performers, Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead, the inaugural Mary Lou Williams Emerging Artist Workshop, and the Jazz Composer’s Orchestral Institute (American Composer’s Orchestra). She received her bachelor’s degree in Jazz Studies/Piano Performance from the University of Michigan, where she studied with Ellen Rowe and Geri Allen, and her master’s degree in Jazz Studies from Howard University.
For more than 60 years, Beverly “Guitar” Watkins has been a phenomenon in the blues community. The Commerce, Georgia, native discovered music through her mother’s gramophone. Listening to records by Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith, and Memphis Minnie, she began to play guitar at age eight, studying with several of her aunts. As a junior in high school, she was introduced to the bandleader Piano Red and soon joined his backing band, which eventually came to be known as The House Rockers. They gigged at local clubs, performed at colleges in the region and eventually started to tour nationally. They opened spots for James Brown, Ray Charles, and many others. In 1965, she hooked up with Eddie Tigner from the Ink Spots and later joined up with Leroy Redding, working with him into the late 1980s. She made another breakthrough by creating a residency for herself at the nightclub Underground Atlanta. The Music Maker Relief Foundation soon booked her on the all-star Women of the Blues “Hot Mamas” tour in 1998 and released her first CD Back in Business, which received a W.C. Handy Blues Award nomination in 2000. She has toured internationally, and her reputation as a live performer is unmatched; as she observes, “When I get on stage, it’s electrifying. I light up and get into the crowd. That’s what I call ministering to the public.”