CFS to Participate in Women in World Jazz Virtual Concert

Ririka Masuda, CFS woodwind instructor, will be participating in the Women in World Jazz virtual concert, joined by her students, Lizzy Wakefield (CFS Class of ’20) and Fiona Gully-Hightower (CFS Class of ’20), who will be performing in the all-girl Women in World Jazz, Jr. ensemble. Organized by the Newton Free Public Library, this professional, virtual concert will take place on Tuesday, June 2 at 7:00 pm via Zoom.


Ririka is a regular member of the acclaimed ensemble, Women in World Jazz, and has been performing with them for the last five years. The all-girl Women in World Jazz, Jr. ensemble was created this year as a special addition to this celebration of the 100-year anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment. Since the underlying theme of the event is for women’s right to vote and for female composers, CFS eighth-grade Middle School Jazz Band students (who had also been studying with Ririka for quite some time) were asked to join. Lizzy will be playing flute and Fiona will be playing saxophone with the recently formed group.


They started preparing for this concert since last October, with song preparations starting in January. The concert was originally scheduled for March but had to be postponed due to COVID-19. With organizers opting to move to a virtual performance, band members swiftly transitioned to practicing via Zoom and FaceTime. Needing to make a recording of songs and not being able to get together posed some challenges, however, the Acapella app resolved some of this. In preparation for the virtual performance, each participant had to record themselves one at a time, then their recordings were layered through the app for a full band effect.


Lizzy and Fiona will be joined by members of Women in World Jazz, Jr. to perform three songs: “True Colors” by Cyndi Lauper, “Droppin’ Shucks” by Lil Hardin Armstrong, and “Ô Abre Alas” by Chiquinha Gonzaga. Women in World Jazz will perform five other songs, which include Bessie Smith’s “Backwater Blues” and Nina Simone’s “Revolution” among others. 


To register for this Zoom concert, and join in paying tribute to this celebration of a historic, hard-won battle, please click here.