History Lecture Series: Women in Jazz: Past, Present, Future – Brenda Earle Stokes

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at the Wilton Historical Society

Vocalist, pianist and composer Brenda Earle Stokes shares the rich history of women in jazz, focusing on the many contributions of the often-overlooked female instrumentalists and composers.

Brenda will discuss the struggles of women in the jazz industry and the many triumphs and advancements being made today. She will share music, video footage and will provide a list of resources to encourage further learning.

Brenda Earle Stokes is a rare jazz artist with a true command of both the piano and the voice as well as being a noted composer. In her recordings, she has explored a wide spectrum of material including jazz standards, original compositions, and seldom-heard compositions by Dave Brubeck and Steve Swallow. She has played alongside numerous jazz musicians and has held residencies at the Kennedy Center and the Banff Canter for Fine Arts as well as touring clubs and festivals as a bandleader across the US, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. In addition to her life as performer and composer, Brenda is active as an educator, serving on the faculty of Fordham University, running a busy private studio in New York City, and working as a guest clinician, adjudicator and speaker. She has taught for the Midori and Friends Foundation, developed curricula for the New York Pops Orchestra, and arranged music and taught for the Grammy-winning Brooklyn Youth Chorus. Her online courses, “Piano Skills for Singers,” have hundreds of students worldwide.

The moderator is Steve Hudspeth.

Register for this lecture here.


In the thirteenth year of the collaboration between Wilton Library and the Wilton Historical Society, the scholarly lecture series will focus on the theme, “Jazzed Up: The History of Jazz in America.” The series locations are Wilton Library (137 Old Ridgefield Road, Wilton) and the Wilton Historical Society (224 Danbury Road, Wilton).

The series is sponsored by the Charles Schwab Corporation. The media sponsor is The Wilton Bulletin.  Informal receptions follow each talk. There is no charge, but donations are always welcomed. Registration is required for each lecture individually.