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Vocalist and composer Amanda Ekery collaborates with everyone, literally. Historians, artists, engineers, bakers, you name it. Amanda works with all to create projects that invite others to explore their own stories. She weaves her experience in underground rock, improvisatory creative music, research, and jazz into her compositions, workshops, and community-based performances.

Amanda composes music filled with imagery and strong narratives. Her compositions have earned support from New Music USA, Chamber Music America, and the Jerome Foundation, and have been featured at the Portland Jazz Festival, Panama Jazz Festival, and The Kennedy Center. Amanda’s album “Keys With No Purpose,” was written as a reaction to the sexist culture women continue to face in jazz. The album received praise in Downbeat Magazine, features an 11-piece large ensemble, and earned Amanda the St. Botolph Club Foundation Artist Award. “Some Short Songs” is Amanda’s collection of original music exploring the lydian chromatic concept. Its stories of hula-hoops, dry peanut butter jars, and self-conscious clouds, highlight her whimsical, fun, and varied style. Some More Short Songs was awarded the inaugural Performance Plus Grant from Chamber Music America in 2019. Amanda’s band will be working with Sylvie Courvoisier to bring Some More Short Songs to your ears soon.

Árabe is Amanda’s most recent project that focuses on Syrian immigration to El Paso/Mexico and the influence these mixed cultures had on film, food, economy, and music. She collaborates with the Syrian Ladies Club of El Paso, recent immigrants, Middle Eastern scholars, and her family to write lyrics, gather artifacts, and create interactive exhibits for the El Paso community.

Amanda is a dedicated teaching artist and committed to education equity. She is the founder of El Paso Jazz Girls, a non-profit organization for young female musicians to learn jazz from professional female musicians and combat gender demographics in jazz. Amanda receives support from the Jazz Education Network and Herb Alpert Foundation, and collaborated with local auto salvages, bakeries, and restaurants to make El Paso Jazz Girls possible. El Paso Jazz Girls continues to grow, serving as a direct, practical intervention for gender equality in Amanda’s home state jazz community. As the creator of Crayon Box, Amanda designed an interactive workshop series for third graders to learn about improvisation and composition via technology and visual art. By building relationships community centers she brings her impactful, relevant workshops to students of all ages. Other workshops include “Women Who Rock: A Herstory,” and “Vocal Improvisation 101,” shared with students at the 2018 Panama Jazz Festival.

A lover of stories, reading, and writing, Amanda is an avid researcher and sought after presenter, sharing her research at conferences and universities around the world. Her most recent research “Exclusion and Pushout: Females in Jazz Education” has earned her invitations to present at the International Women in Music Leadership Conference in London, the Washington Women in Jazz Festival, and at the New School of Jazz and Contemporary Music. Additionally, in 2017 at the International Jazz Voice Conference in Helsinki, Finland, Amanda presented her research on the importance of vocalists developing skills to arrange their own music. Her self-published workbook, “Arranging for the Solo Jazz Vocalist: A Workbook That Isn’t Boring,” includes arranging techniques, transcriptions, lessons, and tips written specifically with vocalists in mind. Amanda’s other research includes papers Syrian Female Musicians: the Last One Hundred Years, and Female Bandleaders: Stories of Perseverance, Discrimination and Grit, which Amanda developed into a course and taught at Tufts University in 2018.

Amanda holds a Master of Music in Jazz Performance from the New England Conservatory and a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies from the University of North Texas. She is the Assistant Director of Academic Affairs for the New School of Jazz and Contemporary Music, a teaching artist for the Metropolitan Opera Guild, the education coordinator at Jazz at Lincoln Center, and a regular at the Cortelyou Library in Brooklyn, NY.