The Jann Rutherford Memorial Award was founded in 2005 to develop opportunities for emerging female jazz musicians. Funded by private donations in partnership with Melbourne International Women’s Jazz Festival, Sydney Improvised Music Association, ABC Radio National and The Mietta Foundation, the award provides recipients with national performance opportunities for their band, a recording for ABC Radio National and publicity and promotional materials.
The award is certainly making a difference. Past recipients of the award such as Alex Silver, Hannah James, Ellen Kirkwood, Ali Foster, Jess Dunn and Harri Harding (of the Sirens Big Band), Jess Green and Jodie Michael are making their mark in Australia’s vibrant jazz scene. Thanks to initiatives such as this, the future looks promising for gender equity in jazz.