WSU alumnus article appears in prestigious jazz music journal – The Daily Evergreen


Former undergrad student publishes article on women’s history in jazz music genre

The thesis of former WSU student Kaitlyn Van Vleet has been selected for publication in the Jazz Education Networks “Journal for Jazz Education in Research and Practice”.

Van Vleet’s article, “Women in Jazz Music: One Hundred Years of Gender Gap in Jazz Study and Performance,” focuses on the role of women in jazz and the barriers faced by female musicians. jazz are facing to reach the top of the profession.

“I did my research and the interviews sort of while I was writing too,” Van Vleet said. “In January [2020] I started doing a lot of research… and then in March, I just wrote it down.

For the article, Van Vleet spoke to artists such as Grammy-nominated singer Roseanna Vitro and pianist Pamela York. She said the artist interviews were one of the most memorable aspects of the project.

“At first I was surprised that a lot of these people were willing to talk to me,” Van Vleet said. “These are the kind of people that you study and admire… you say to yourself ‘there’s no way this person will get back to me”, so it was impressive that they were willing to do that. “

The article began as a thesis for Honors College, passing with distinction, despite having limited time with it, she said. Van Vleet completed almost all of his thesis during his last semester at WSU.

One of the professors who sat on the jury and judged his thesis was Ashley Boyd, associate professor of English. Boyd said she was impressed with Van Vleet’s work.

“It’s a huge accomplishment for an undergraduate to be published,” Boyd said. “What I liked the most [Kaitlyn’s Thesis] is that she had a research aspect, in terms of investigating the literature in the field… but she also did research in terms of real interviews with people… I think she went to- beyond that point.

Van Vleet said preparing the article for publication was a challenge because it required major formatting changes and because she needed to make significant cuts in the article. The original thesis was approximately 12,000 words, while the journal’s maximum word count is only 8,000.

“By the time you get to your last three words, you go back and nitpick and try to turn some of your words into contractions if you can,” Van Vleet said.

In the future, Van Vleet hopes to divide his time between his passion for music and a career in his specialty, criminal justice and criminology. She said she was not working on any items at the moment, but wanted to keep playing the saxophone and stay involved in the music.

“I don’t want to sacrifice this for a career in criminal justice,” Van Vleet said. “I want to keep doing it next door. Like coffee jazz, that sort of thing.


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