Jazz, Gender and Justice


Stephanie Glass Solomon developed the work Jazz, Gender and Justice on a grant from the Cultural Affairs Department of the City of Los Angeles. Jazz, Gender and Justice was performed at the Visual and Performing Arts Center of California State University Northridge, September 14, 2000 in two performances and again on September 16, 2000. The work is a narrative that uses music, visuals and personal voice to challenge political apathy and cynicism. The project covers contemporary issues -- environmental degradation, refugees, child labor, racism, the romance industry, feminism, the incarceration of youth, and the entertainment state. While hitting hard on these topics, this performance piece includes much humor and aims to inspire the audience to consider leaving a legacy of caring.  It suggests that a meaningful life might be one that includes joining those who have come before in history and have struggled to make the world a better place.

Songs are by various artists who are all given appropriate credit, and all visuals shown were used in the show after permission was granted. In the highlight from the piece on the Home Page, the visual for “Your Body is a Battleground” is by Barbara Kruger and the tune, “Ah, But Underneath,” is by Stephen Sondheim. 

Arrangements are by Gary Nesteruk. The musicians are: Gary Nesteruk, keyboards; Ernie Nunez, bass; Ben Wendel, sax; Tony Austin, drums; Tom Bethke, guitar.

An educational, non-profit artwork, Jazz, Gender and Justice was performed in conjunction with classroom activities where students and faculty had the opportunity to reflect on the topics presented. Additional support was provided by the Women’s Studies Department California State University Northridge, Associated Students and Student Union of Northridge, and Antioch University Los Angeles.

“It was refreshing to see such a subversive show sponsored by and performed at this university. . . Jazz, Gender and Justice tells the idealist to never give up the fight, that in the end, change will occur. . .  It gave me a new perspective on things,” said a junior business major, “'I agree with a lot of what she was talking about.  If more people acted with compassion instead of greed, the world would be better.”  

CSNU student newspaper

“Your show serves as a powerful example of how creative artistry can be an educational tool.”  Elizabeth A. Say Ph.D., Chair, Women’s Studies Department.

Image: Katerina Taganova