(Images courtesy of Flaneur Photographic/Gareth Surgey)
This International Women’s Day, March 8, sees Tyneside’s Parliamentary Awards Jazz Vocalist of the Year make the short trip over to Yorkshire for an afternoon with her quartet at the Seven Artspace.
A celebration which this years’ mantra embraces the phrase ‘An equal world is an enabled world’ and the hashtag of #EachforEqual, Zoe is understandably well aware of the boundaries that are both present, and that need broken, whilst also celebrating that in which she has achieved throughout a long, and somewhat productive career.
This year alone will see the jazz musician add a further two albums to the three previous three releases, her Tom Harrell-inspired, Aurora Project, having its launch at the Gosforth Civic Theatre on April 23, then, later on in the year, she’ll release her first original production in seven years with Living in Shadows.
Speaking ahead of her appearance in Leeds the award-winning musician said: “I’m so excited to be performing on March 8 at the Seven Arts Leeds Jazz anyway, but, the fact that this is also on International Women’s Day, it makes it even more special and very close to my heart.
“International Women’s Day for me is a celebration, a celebration of what we have achieved and the boundaries that we have pushed.
“We are all different, yet globally we can stand together on this day and every other day, from all different walks of life, and with a path both unknown and exciting.
“I also remember, and appreciate the men and other genders who are supportive and respectful to what we are all going through.
“The gender gap, and all of the other prejudices eating away at society, aren’t going to go away overnight and it takes everyone working together to try to do this.
“But it’s most certainly ok to be different, not to fit the mould, just be creative and be yourself.”
Some of music, and particularly jazz, greats have been female, artists from Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holliday through to Fiona Ross, Rachel Sutton and Fleur Stevenson, it’s a somewhat plentiful list, each talented in their own rights.
Zoe however realises the magnitude in which International Women’s Day not only has on the music industry, but on life in general, adding: “To be in a position to perform and share what I love, my music, my sound, with my brilliant band, and on this momentous day, will be particularly poignant to me.
“I embrace this every day of the year, whether I am performing, song-writing or recording.
“The balance women are expected to strike, to be a successful businesswoman, or be an incredible mother, to have the perfect looks, have the house work done and get the dinner on the table, it honestly sounds like it’s something from the dark ages but it is unfortunately still apparent, even in this day and age.
“These issues barely even touch the sides as to what else women all around the world are struggling with.
“International Women’s Day symbolises so much in that it also symbolises freedom, expression, love, support and creativity.”
A decade plus of individual experience, and with three albums to her own name – Now That I Real (2007), looking Glass (2010) and Twelve Stories (2013), the Zoe Gilby Quartet, also featuring Andy Champion (double bass), Mark Williams (guitar) and Richard Brown (drums) will engage the audience from the very first, to very last note with their extensive, and unique repertoire.
In addition to performing on this year’s International Women’s Day, the Zoe Gilby Quartet release their Tom Harrell composition album, Aurora, on April 23, with a performance at the Gosforth Civic Theatre, meanwhile they appear at the Seven Artspace, Harrogate Road, Leeds, on the afternoon of Sunday 8 March, between 1:30pm and 4pm. Tickets are available now from http://www.sevenleeds.co.uk/event/jazzleeds-zoe-gilby-quartet/ priced £10 (adults), £8 (concessions) and £5 (under 25s).