The Girls in the Band
February 11th 2014 by Tianna Hall


For Immediate ReleaseFebruary 6, 2014



Everything a worthwhile documentary should be, and then some: engaging, informative, thorough and brimming with delightful characters.”

—Jeannette Catsoulis, The New York Times

The Girls in the Band, a documentary telling the stories of female jazz and big band instrumentalists and their groundbreaking journeys from the late 1920’s to the present day, will be screening for one week beginning February 14 at theSundance Cinemas Houston. Written, produced and directed by Judy Chaikin and executive produced by Michael Greene,the film has been hailed as a “real crowd-pleaser” by Variety and “long overdue” by The Los Angeles Times. More info about the film can be found at its website:

The Girls in the Band began with Chaikin’s interest in jazz and big band music and her curiosity about the untold stories of the female instrumentalists, composers and bandleaders who helped shape the genre. “This film is my tribute to their courage and musical artistry, which has never been properly celebrated,” she explains. Combining archival footage and interviews with musicians including drummer Viola Smith, saxophonists Roz Cron and Peggy Gilbert, and trumpeter Billie Rogers, Chaikin explores how these women helped shape the history of American music in spite of the sexism and racism they faced along the way. The film also demonstrates how these women paved the way for female jazz musicians working today, including Maria Schneider, Anat Cohen, and Esperanza Spalding. The Girls in the Band won the Audience Choice Awards at the Palm Springs Film Festival, the Victoria Film Festival, and the Omaha Film Festival. The film has also screened at a number of other festivals and has had engagements in New York, Los Angeles, Santa Fe, San Francisco, and many other cities.  In addition to Houston, Chicago and Seattle are among the cities it’s scheduled to run in the near future.  Screen Daily International declared the film to be “a fascinating, moving and wonderfully tuneful documentary.”

Judy Chaikin, a graduate of AFI’s Directing Workshop for Women, first came to recognition when she wrote, produced,and directed the 1987 Emmy-nominated PBS documentaryLegacy of the Hollywood Blacklist. In 2004 she received her second Emmy nomination for the documentary Building on a Dream. She directed and co-wrote the short romantic-comedy film, Cotillion’65, which has appeared in 40 film festivals,winning Best Short, Best Comedy, Best Director, and Audience Choice Awards. Chaikin has also worked on the ABC series “FBI: The Untold Stories,” the CBS Movie Of The Week Stolen Innocence, and the PBS documentary Los Pastores. In 1996 she won the Blue Ribbon at the American Educational Film and TV Festival for the docu-drama, Sojourner Truth: Ain’t I a Woman, featuring Julie Harris. Michael Greene served as the first President/CEO of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) where he started the Grammy Foundation, which provides funding for musical education programming, and The Musicares Foundation, which provides financial grants and assistance to music professionals in need.

For more information, please contact Nancy Kissock ( or John Topping ( at One Step Productions, 818.762.1624.  


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