International Women’s Day–just another day on Echoes?

Well, it’s that time again, for my cameo appearance as host of Echoes. March 8th is International Women’s Day!

I’ve been in this spot for decades. Long before we began producing Echoes, John and I hosted various programs on WXPN in Philadelphia. On March 8th, I’d usually pull two or three shifts, ranging from classical to progressive rock to contemporary avant-garde. Some were easier than others to do. We managed to keep to a show’s format, but sometimes it was a stretch. Women musicians that could be played on a show, but weren’t exactly central. Often we’d resort to groups that included *a* woman.

But today, as I’m planning what to play, I’m drawing from a large pile of CDs I selected from our library this morning. A very large pile. And by no means have I grabbed all of the possible choices, not by a long shot.

What’s more, they’re core Echoes artists: musicians who topped our Essential Echoes and Listener Polls like Kaki King, Laurel MacDonald, Rena Jones, Anoushka Shankar, and Mariam Matossian, and some of our best-known artists of either gender, on Echoes and beyond, like Lisa Gerrard and Loreena McKennitt. It sounds pretty much like Echoes on any other day of the week.

Kaki King Lisa Gerrard Rena Jones Loreena McKennittAnoushka Shankar Laurel MacDonald

So do we need this day anymore? Do we need to stand up and be noticed, when we’re here every day?

Maybe that’s the point–instead of highlighting a small handful of pioneers like we did twenty years ago, maybe now it’s worth celebrating where we are now–that we can enjoy an Echoes show that is like any other, except it just happens to contain music that’s entirely made by women.

Maybe that’s why elsewhere the event has morphed into “Women’s History Month.” As with Black History Month, we can acknowledge the contributions of women to the music every day of the year, but still set aside a time to remember what it took to get here. So please join me on your local Echoes station on Thursday, March 8th !

~Kimberly Haas

Comment posted by
at 3/10/2007 9:14:39 AM

As man and as a struggling musian, and a successful postal worker (32 years), I enjoy an incredible range and variety of music and appreciate most contributions regardless of gender. However, I have found most inspiring of late Loreena and “the Ancient Muse” incredible combinations of cultural music- what a voice! What a talent and what a strikingly beautiful looking woman. I so appreciate your show and the music that you have presented over the years it has broaden my musical library and touched my life.

Comment posted by
at 3/1/2007 3:26:04 PM

Yes! Rena Jones! ) Thank you for introducing me to her music via the podcast.

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