Thursday, April 15, 2010

Valaida Snow - 1930's Female Jazz Trumpet Player


Born - June 2, 1903
Chattanooga, Tennessee

Died - May 30, 1956

Valaida Snow was an African American jazz musician and entertainer.  Raised on the road in a show-business family, she learned to play cello, bass, banjo, violin, mandolin, harp, accordion, clarinet, trumpet, and saxophone at professional levels by the time she was 15.  She also sang and danced.

After focusing on the trumpet, she quickly became so famous at the instrument that she was named "Little Louis" after Louis Armstrong, who used to call her the world's second best jazz trumpet player besides himself. She played concerts throughout the USA, Europe and China. 

Her most successful period was in the 1930s when she became the toast of London and Paris.  Around this time she recorded her hit song, "High Hat, Trumpet, and Rhythm."  She performed in the Ethel Waters show, "Rhapsody In Black", in New York.

In the mid-30s she made films with her husband, Ananais Berry, of the Berry Brothers dancing troupe.  After playing New York's Apollo Theater, she revisited Europe and the Far East for more shows and films.

Later she became addicted to morphine.  While touring through Denmark in 1941, she was arrested by the Nazis and probably kept at Vestre F├Žngsel, a Danish prison in Copenhagen that was run by the Nazis, before being released on a prisoner exchange in May 1942.  According to jazz historian Scott Yanow, "she never emotionally recovered from the experience".  She later married Earl Edwards.  In the 1950s, she was unable to regain her former success.

Valaida Snow died of a brain hemorrhage on May 30, 1956 in New York City, backstage during a performance at the Palace Theater.

(Excerpt From Wikipedia)

Friday, April 9, 2010

Highlighting The Female Musicians of!

When I created a little over a year ago in March of 2009, I had a vision...A vision to have a place where women who play instruments could be found by creating a Female Musicians' Directory

But before I created the directory, I also wanted the website to help clear up a lot of questions I, myself, had as a working musician in various stages of my professional career.....How do you get into a band?  How do you get your original music protected?  How do you make money with your music?  How do you keep your head above water while you're trying to "make it"?  The list
of things I've learned over time goes on and on. 

Through the resources within, I wanted to help reduce the learning curve for other musicians who may be up and coming.

In the beginning, it was just a vision, and there was no one to be listed within the directory.  However, I am very happy to report that there are a number of female musicians listed within the directory now - and each and every one of them is a precious gem!  See them all right here.  Enjoy!

Anna Gilbert

Anna Gilbert is an award winning American singer-songwriter and pianist born and raised in Oregon.  She has self-produced two albums, and her third album is produced by Grammy Award winner Charlie Peacock.  Her latest EP "Like a River" is produced by Sam Ashworth.  Find Anna Gilbert's music at and her latest EP "Like a River" on Anna Gilbert - Like a River - EP and Cdbaby.

See Anna's listing and video of her performances within "Female Musicians' Directory" right now!

Ava Lemert welcomes female alto-saxophone player, Ava Lemert, to the Female Musicians’ Directory!  Ava is an independent artist, songwriter, sax player, vocalist and a true talent with heart, drive and ambition!

See one of her live performances highlighted right here, and support her new album “ From My Soul available right now over at . Ava Lemert's a sister out there who’s truly doing her thing!

I met her through Twitter.  She supported my efforts with my website and really seemed to see my vision very early on in my website's development.  I truly appreciate you, Ava!

Ella Woods welcomes female vocalist, Ella Woods, to the Female Musicians’ Directory!  Ella is a professional vocalist and the leader of the group in Europe, called "The Magic Platters" listed with the Agency Etoile-Productions.beYou can find her CD entitled Ella Sings Ella on Ella Woods - Ella Sings Ella. 

Go to the Female Musicians’ Directory to connect with Ella through her listing!  You can also visit Ella's site at


Ghada Youssef contacted me all the way from Egypt!  Please enjoy one of Ghada's performances right here within the "Female Musicians' Directory".  Thank you, Ghada, and welcome!

Lori Lynner

Little Extremes welcomes female vocalist and guitar player, Lori Lynner, to the Female Musicians' Directory

Lori is a professional singer with over 20 years' experience, live and in the studio, and also plays rhythm, acoustic and electric guitars.  She produced an original rock/pop CD entitled "Little Extremes", which received extensive airplay on "XM Radio".

Go to the Female Musicians’ Directory to connect with Lori through her listing!  You can also visit Lori's site at

Rochelle Coatney

Rochelle Coatney is the female drummer for “Hollyboots”.  Enjoy some of their upcoming performances if you happen to be in the Southern California area.  Connect with Rochelle and "Hollyboots" through her listing within the "Female Musicians' Directory".

In January 2008 "The Hollyboots Band" was formed.  Rochelle Coatney Drummer/Percussionist) joined the band later that year in September and immediately went into the studio to record drums and percussion for this project.  "Rocky", as she is affectionately known, ties the band together with her brilliant dynamics, fills, and grooves on drums.  This project has been five years in the making, and everyone is excited to get the show on the road.  You can check out the band on Facebook or Myspace at

"Hollyboots" has released new music!  Search for Hollyboots.

   Tovia "On Drums" Bradley

Tovia is one of the funkiest female drummers out there, and I'm honored to have her listing inside the Female Musicians' DirectoryShe's the former drummer for "Johnny Guitar Watson". Tovia can also be found performing with "JGW" on "The Dream of Dr King".  This is a dream
come true for her and her now passed-on mentor.  This single collabortion is released to share with the world, and is released for NON-PROFIT purposes to give back to various foundations. You can get your copy at

See  Tovia's listing and some of her performances  "Female Musicians' Directory".  Thank you, Tovia!

Trei (pronounced "Tree") is the first female vocalist to list within the site, and I'm very excited and happy to welcome her to the directory!  She found out about through an article I wrote and published on on "How To Recognize a Good Overseas Band Booking Agency".  

Trei's Intro
Trei has been blessed with a tremendous gift of music as well an ability to connect with the audience.  Her musical repertoire is extensive ranging from classics such as Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross and Chaka Khan, to contemporary jazz artist such as Diana Krall, Anita Baker, as well as today's hottest acts like Beyonce.

Trei is in process of creating her new CD.  Check out one of her previous releases, Trei's Intro!

Opt-in to's Newsletter

I'd love it if you would pass the word about my site to any female musician
out there you know who'd like to be highlighted in THE place that makes sense...!
 Don't worry!  I'm not gonna be sharing or selling your information to anybody else or using it for other than its intended purposes. 




Sunday, March 7, 2010

CYNTHIA ROBINSON - Female Trumpet Player and Funk Pioneer!



Born January 12th 
Sacramento, California

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductee

Cynthia Robinson, along with Sly, was part of "Sly and The Stoners" in 1966.  Through her years with Sly & The Family Stone, she was notable for being one of the first black, female trumpet players in a major American band.  She has performed in recent years on many stages through the US and Europe playing with P-Funk maestro George Clinton, Larry Graham and Prince, and at Sinbad's Aruba Summer Soul Festival with fellow S&TFS members, Rose Stone, Jerry Martini, Larry Graham & Graham Central Station.

Download, Play, Burn MP3s!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Thanks to All The Fans of's Fan Page!'s Fan Page is for everybody that thinks it's pretty cool to see a woman with total command over her instrument - playing and doing her thing! I know I think it's pretty cool, and that's where it all began back in March of 2009 (actually, it all began when I picked up an old guitar and started playing it like a bass at 10 years old!). It's also very cool to see a dynamite vocalist that can work an audience into an emotional nirvana!

The main website, is a resource website with the highlight being the "Female Musician's Directory". You can be listed for free on the site. And the site is growing in popularity, so it's becoming very high visibility for everyone included.

With your free listing in the site, you also have an option to pay for a monthly subscription. So, what's the benefits of a monthly subscription?

1. A listing on the main website.
2. Permissions to post your photos, videos, music samples and upcoming events right onto the Fan Page directly from your own Facebook page.
3. You'll be promoted world-wide!
4. Your music, book or other merchandise can be available for sale through the store (coming soon!).
6. Be found in the place that makes perfect sense,!

Thanks again, everybody! Feel free to leave your comments!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Mystery Or Secret Shopping Helps Me Supplement My Income!

Myself being a musician and always looking for a way to making extra money on my own time, I ran across mystery or secret shopping in the early 90's and took my chance with it to see if it was real.  I wanted to see if you could actually get paid paid to shop!  Well, when I signed up with my first secret shopping company and actually got paid to go to the mall and get some snacks for my friend and I, I realized for myself it was true!

I currently perform mystery or secret shopping assignments in the state of Nevada, and it can be a good way to take friends out as a part of a night on the town.  Mystery shopping companies should always be free to sign up with.  However, if you shop in Nevada, there will be certain things you'll need to do before you can legally begin to perform your shops.  This page will give you most or all the information you need to get started!  P.S.  I don't make any type of money from the links you see throughout this post, not even Cathy Stucker's book.  It's just great information!  Happy secret shopping!

The MSPA is the largest professional trade association dedicated to improving service quality using anonymous resources. With over 260 member companies worldwide, their diverse membership includes marketing research and merchandising companies, private investigation firms, training organizations and companies that specialize in providing mystery shopping services. Their member companies work with their clients to establish mechanisms to measure and improve levels of service.

Cathy Stucker is an experienced mystery shopper who has performed a wide variety of retail and service shops for many mystery shopping providers since 1995.  Carol is the author of The Mystery Shopper’s Manual, the only book for mystery shoppers endorsed by the (MSPA). MSPA also selected Cathy to develop and present their Gold Certification Workshops, and she has presented nearly 100 workshops to shoppers across the U.S. and Canada.

Secret Shoppers in Nevada

Current Nevada law states that you MUST be an employee of a Private
Investigator if you are going to perform shops in Nevada.  It is illegal for you to perform mystery shops as an independent contractor.  Mystery Shopping Companies and Shoppers caught shopping illegally face fines of $2500 per instance and more.

Feel free to comment on this blog.  If you want to know more about secret shopping in Nevada, let me know!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

How to Recognize a Good Overseas Band Booking Agency

My first time going overseas as a musician was made into a positively unforgettable time in my life. What made it that way? An outstanding overseas booking agency – that’s what!

Having worked as a bass player/vocalist in successful bar bands around the Seattle/Tacoma area and feeling that I wanted to experience more in my musical career, I began to look at traveling overseas when the local gigging scene began to change.

I was introduced to John Belmont of the John Belmont Agency based in Mill Creek, Washington whom I asked to keep me in mind whenever he knew of any gig that needed a singing bass player going overseas. At that time in my life, I was definitely ready for just that type of new experience. I’m very thankful for John Belmont to this day simply because he’s the reason I learned how to recognize a good overseas band booking agency.

He called me one day not long after our initial contact and told me he had a duo that was traveling to Bangkok, Thailand, and they could use someone just like me who could do double duty on bass and vocals to make it a trio. We would play top-40 pop music, and I would do some lead vocals. Well, I jumped at the chance! Even though I had never gone farther than Canada at that point, I barely thought twice. The most difficult thing was to figure out how I was going to handle my responsibilities back home while being over there since the gig was a minimum of 6 months.

When I gave my word to John that I would do the gig, he provided me with a contract after telling me all the specifics of the gig – the name of the hotel, how the meals and board was going to be handled, my work visa and my passport details. He asked me to give him a list of all the equipment that I would need on stage and a manifest of the things I would be taking with me. He also got me prepared physically for the trip by setting up appointments for me to go and get all my immunizations for overseas travel.

From the beginning, I knew I was in good hands!

When the plane arrived into Bangkok after the approximately 27 hour flight, I’ll never forget how it felt to realize I was touching down in a new country – on a new continent – in brand new culture!

We were met by hotel representatives at the airport and brought to the Central Plaza Hotel, which was at least 5-star, and beautiful from top to bottom.

At the hotel, we were met by the Food and Beverage manager who treated us to a meal in one of the finest restaurants in the hotel where I drank first ever glass of Grappa!

Before we played the first note, we were paid our full month’s pay in U.S. dollars. We were also taken the next morning to the U.S. Embassy and prepared for legal working status by receiving proper work visas on our passports.

We each had our own rooms in the hotel that we worked in with full housekeeping services. Every day, I would receive an exotic basket of fruit filled with tasty morsels like rambutaan and lychee and other fruit I had never seen nor heard of before. It was fantastic!

As we worked our way into the gig, John Belmont himself came to Bangkok to check in on us – not for any trouble; he just truly cared about us! By the way, he helped me pay my bills back home by sending them all to me and made sure I knew how to handle situations where I had to send things back and forth to the states. I truly trusted him, and nothing was ever lost or went unpaid!

I had my round trip plane ticket within my possession, so I knew that I wouldn’t be stranded, and everything was on the up-and-up.

We played the gig there at the Central Plaza Hotel, and when our 6 months were just about up, the management asked us if we wanted to work another 3 to 6 months. At that point, we were all ready to go, but I’ll say that the experience I had from the first surreal moment of landing on the soil of another continent to touchdown back home at SeaTac airport was probably about the best first overseas touring experience a musician could’ve ever had!

Just to recap all the fantastic things the Belmont overseas booking agency did for me:
  • I was fully informed of the details of the gig.
  • I was given a contract to sign and copies for
    my records.
  • I knew what my backline would be before we
    arrived at the venue.
  • I was asked for a record (manifest) of the
    things I was bringing to make sure all my equipment was accounted for.
  • I was informed in every detail of how to get my
    immunizations for overseas travel, and any questions I had were
    thoroughly answered.
  • My round-trip travel was paid, and my plane
    ticket was in my possession.
  • My passport and work papers were handled
    properly, and we were registered at the U.S. Embassy.
  • We were paid for each month in full, in advance, in U.S. currency so that we’d have money to last through the month.
  • Each person had their own room.
  • My agent helped me take care of my
    responsibilities at home.
  • He took time out to come and see how we were

I hope my experience helps you!

Written By Giovanna Westwood

August 1, 2009

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Handling Lean Times When Music Gigs Are Scarce

I know from my own experience how difficult it can be to try to work a regular 9 to 5 job and pursue a full-time career as a musician. Sometimes, one or the other thing suffers. You might have a late gig and have to deal with getting up to go to work early the next morning. You might want to fulfill a commitment to do a travelling gig and feel guilty about asking for time off to pursue your passion.

Other times, you just want to play music and take each day as it comes. During times like those, if I wasn’t working a steady music gig overseas or with a band that worked regularly, I’ve done all kinds of odd jobs to be able to comfortably pursue my music and make my ends meet. Sometimes the living I’ve made wasn’t always so comfortable, but it was those times that led me to things that really helped me either earn more money, or stretch the money I already had.

Thankfully, I have skills I can use in the regular work force to fall back on, and sometimes a regular job can be necessary, for example, to give you stability to be able to buy a new home. Or maybe to provide a springboard to help you proceed on your journey to true financial independence.

Part of my goal for creating is to help people find ways to make extra money on their own time while working on their music careers.

Some of the resources in the site are things I’ve personally done, will do, or that I’m doing right now. People I know personally are using some of these resources to make money. They’re making money from home working on their own time doing legitimate customer service and office support work. They’re also working as musicians selling their own music using TuneCore, Songcast, CDBaby and other legitimate music distribution resources.

In order to make to be as helpful a site as possible, please feel free to leave your comments about other resources you’ve had success with. I’ll add them into the site to keep all the information current.

Hope you can find some great information you can use at and in my blog posts. Thanks for reading!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Jazz Women of the 30's and 40's

I'm very thankful for footage like this which shows those ladies that have gone before us. These talented women show a commitment to perfection of their abilities on their instruments.

This blog is a way for me to help bring attention to female instrumentalists - obscure and well-known as well as up and coming women players.

I look forward to making Female-musician's Blog a place where you can get great information and enjoy yourself at the same time. Your constructive comments and suggestions are welcome!