Tia Fuller:<br />
Beyonce, Bebop and Beyond
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so amazing how God works, in the sense of putting certain things out in the universe, and then you attracting those things. “Tailor Made” is a funk track on my CD that I wrote that was inspired by Esperanza’s song “Winter Sun,” from her CD, Classical Music Society. But I didn’t work with her until months after I recorded this CD. We got close after I wrote that song. On that song, I wanted to really celebrate her.

I see similarities between her and Beyonce: Esperanza is always working on something. She’s constantly practicing – even when everybody else is eating dinner before the show – she’s practicing...She’s a musician: she leads her own band. And she knows exactly want she wants, as a performer. And is not afraid to take the time to get what she wants to follow in her vision. Working with her is a blessing, because in a lot of respects, we’re very similar. We’re having a good time playing on her tour. Hopefully, she’ll be able to do a couple of gigs with my band.  

EBONY: You, Esperanza Spalding and Terri Lyne Carrington are three prime examples of a not-so-quite-storm of female jazz musicians who are in the forefront of the music in the twenty first century: women who are taken seriously by their male counterparts. Call it a movement or a happening, but what is like being in the vanguard?  

TF: There is a movement going on with women in music. I’ve been blessed with opportunities to tour with Beyonce’s all-female band, with Terri Lyne Carrington and Esperanza, and my own project. There’s definitely some happening in the music industry, in celebration of all of the women that are contributing to the music now, and who’ve laid the foundation for us in the past.

We’ve always been there, in the grassroots of this jazz music. Women like [Louis Armstong’s wife] Lil Hardin Armstrong, Mary Lou Williams, who taught Bud Powell and Thelonious Monk…we've always been there. Now there’s a resurgence of that with people like Terri Lyne, Esperanza and myself. We’re out there!