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Rocking Gender: Stereotype and Subversion Among Female Pop Musicians

May. 19, 2010, 12:26 PM

Many of the characteristics closely associated with rock and roll music – the loud volume, the rebellious stance, the sweaty, sneering, promiscuous guitar players – are also characteristics closely related to traditional conceptions of masculinity, and this has fundamentally affected the way that women have engaged in the music throughout its history. Whether attempting to conform to idealized visions of womanhood, or defying convention by appropriating masculine traits or poking ironic fun at feminine stereotypes, women have navigated all sorts of pressures in order to make their voices heard in rock.

Jennifer Guderman , senior lecturer in the Blair School of Music, divides her time between teaching performing, and recording. Lecturing on American pop and rock and roll, she is also an active studio session musician and producer, and she plays keyboards and sings regularly with several groups based in Nashville.

As a piano major at Vassar College, she studied at the Heidelberg-Mannheim Hochschule fur Musik and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. After graduating, she spent two years working for the Artists & Repertoire Department at Columbia Records in NYC before moving to Seattle to earn a master of arts in ethnomusicology from the University of Washington. For the next eight years, she spent most of her time touring as a keyboardist/singer in the U.S., Canada and Europe with various rock bands, including Dag (Columbia Records), the Jayhawks (American/Columbia Records), and Caitlin Cary (Yep Roc Records). She has performed with such diverse musicians as Roger McGuinn (Byrds), Michael McDonald, Chris Robinson (Black Crowes), Steve Earle, Travis Tritt and Joan Osborne. She has performed at Avery Fisher Hall (Lincoln Center, New York City) and the Barbican Center (London, United Kingdom), as well as in clubs, theaters, festivals, amphitheaters and sports arenas. She has recorded for major and independent record labels and has appeared on radio and television shows in the U.S., Canada and Europe, including CMT, The Craig Kilborn Show (NBC), Viva Variety (Comedy Central) and MTV Europe.

Contact: Princine Lewis (615) 322-NEWS

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