The Artistry of… Tara Davidson

O Tara Davidson:

Tara Davidson is one of this city’s leading saxophone artists, educators, bandleaders, co-leaders, and side persons. She was one of five finalists in the ‘Mary Lou Williams, “Women In Jazz” saxophone competition.’

Do we still feel the need to categorize like this today—in 2018? There’s an organization called the WIJO who speak to this. The Women In Jazz Organization—a collective of over 300 professional Jazz Musicians who identify as Women or gender Non-Binary. New York City-based they’re connected throughout the US and internationally. Many vital and worthy statements are made by the group and by their work; the essence may well be why can’t the world be everybody’s?

The story is sadly simple: there’s a lack of representation of women in the jazz world. They face discrimination, harassment, assault, abuse and violence and don’t receive the same opportunities as men—it’s just not my place to speak about the level of equality on the Toronto jazz scene. Women actively perform in signature venues, the experiences are their stories to tell and every ally’s to correct and rectify. Mid-way through a tour with The Murley/Braid Quartet Tara’s artistry impressed the band so much they made her a member, DMBQ is the name of that group—A quintet with D for Davidson, Davidson out front. Something right about that!