WCJS BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Richard W. Bridgeforth, Founder/President
An entrepreneur, author, and musician, Richard W. Bridgeforth has be in the entertainment business for 35+ years, seven of those years as an on-air personality at KAWC 88.9 FM in Yuma, Arizona, hosting a show he produced, Yuma Latin Jazz Corner. He founded, and has chaired as President of The West Coast Jazz Society Inc. for the past three years. Before creating and taking the reins of the West Coast Jazz Society, Richard was both Founder and President of the Yuma Jazz Society Inc. which he ran from 2006 to 2016, expanding the WCJS to Lawton,Oklahoma where the demand for great jazz is plentiful......but supply limited...Yuma will also be getting a Jazz make over in 2020, with more jazz events as well . Prior to taking the reins of non-profit organizations, Richard managed and promoted several Los Angeles, San Diego and Oregon bands. Though, six years ago Richard was new to the field of Non Profits, but his tenacity and strong drive was unparalleled.
And, now, with new blood coming aboard from states across the nation, Richard and his new national and International Board, are working to make the new West Coast Jazz Society a soon to become, household word synonymous with Success In All Things Jazz.
Richard can be contacted at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Paula L. Bowen, Director of Operations
Paula L. Bowen, former Lawton Public School Educator and currently Ward 7 City Planning Commissioner, Board Member for Lawton Arts and Humanities Council, and City of Lawton Youth Council, and now, Director of the West Coast Jazz Society Inc.
Paula also has a B.S. in Sociology/History. With her busy schedule she still finds time to stay closely involved in community services, from volunteering at the Patterson Center Tutoring Program, Children’s Reading Hour and the Summer Enrichment Program. She is also assistant to the annual Teamwork Makes the Dream Work with Kimberly Jones.
Mrs. Bowen is the creator of the High School Black History Quiz Bowl, Black History Course for Lawton Public Schools, and On-Site Director for IAMSTEM (K-6) in partnership with Spread the Word Ministries and Georgia State University & Dr. Natalie King. Lecturer at Cameron University, In Search of the Black Statue of Liberty, and The Peculiar Practice of the Free People of Color in Antebellum New Orleans, Discussing the Moral and Social Construct of Plaçage.
Her professional affiliations: American Historical Association, and the Association for the Study of African American Life and History.
Paula is truly capable of steering this organization in creating positive events for young and old alike into the world of Jazz in all its many forms.
Paula can be contacted at email@example.com
Sunnie Paxson, Associate Director - Los Angeles, Calif
Is an innovative contemporary jazz pianist, composer, producer and performer. She is known for her driving performances and memorable melodies.
A native of Philadelphia, Paxson was a child piano prodigy from a musical family. She attended Berklee College of Music and the Philadelphia College of Performing Arts. In the past, she has toured with Stanley Clarke and shared the stage and or recorded with many jazz greats such as Doug Webb, Alphonse Mouzon, Justo Almario, Munyungo Jackson and Maysa to name a few. Her compositions and performances can be heard in feature films and television.
Paxson achieved significant domestic and international success with her debut solo album, Groove Suite, which contained the feel-good singles “Do It (‘Til You’re Satisfied)” and “The Stroll” with special guest Larry Carlton. Jazz Week listed Sunnie amongst the top 100 Artists receiving the most spins during the peak run of Groove Suite and she was as voted one of Los Angeles’ Best Jazz Performers in Los Angeles Magazine.
Her “Bohemian Sun” CD, released on legendary Stanley Clarke’s Roxboro Entertainment label and recorded with Stanley Clarke and Ronald Brunner, Jr is show of her solid jazz roots.
“Give a listen to Sunnie Paxson. She is a tremendous pianist and a very talented composer. She has recorded and toured with me and she has an extensive knowledge of music.” ~ Stanley Clarke
Andrea Brachfeld, Associate Director - Jersey City, New Jersey
Flutist Andrea Brachfeld, a graduate of Manhattan School of Music, and recipient of the “Best Jazz Flute“ award from Hot House Magazine, began her musical career at 16 and has associated with Tito Puente, Ray Barretto, Hubert Laws, Nestor Torres, Dave Valentín, Paquito D’Rivera, Wycliffe Gordon and Wallace Roney, among others.
In June 2017, Andrea was awarded a grant from the prestigious organization, Chamber Music America and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, to compose a new jazz work. Her new CD, “If Not Now, When? ” which will be released on Jazzheads in May of 2018, reflects this new music.
Dr. Joan Cartwright, Associate Director - Oakland Park, Florida
Dr. Joan Cartwright is a renowned veteran of the Jazz and Blues stage for 40+ years. She is a vocalist, composer, and author of 14 books, including her memoir, touring and teaching experiences in 20 countries, poetry, women in music, and the business of music available at www.lulu.com/spotlight/divajc. Her titles include Amazing Musicwomen, So You Want To Be A Singer? and A History of African American Jazz and Blues with interviews with Quincy Jones, Dewey Redman, Lester Bowie, and other noted Jazz musicians and aficionados. Joan holds a B.A. in Music and Communication from LaSalle University, in Philadelphia, PA; an M.A. in Communications from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, FL, and she is a Doctor of Business Marketing from Northcentral University, AZ.
In 2007, Joan founded Women in Jazz South Florida, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization to promote women musicians, globally. In 2016, WIJSF will released its 6th CD of female composers. Joan hosts an Internet radio show MUSICWOMAN, featuring women who compose and perform their own music. Joan has two personal CDs – Feelin’ Good and In Pursuit of a Melody. She has performed and lectured around the nation and the world. She is a featured actor in Last Man and The Siblings, two sitcoms produced online by www.mjtvnetwork.info. In 2014, Joan was honored as the first Lady Jazz Master by www.bwijawards.com. Visit www.wijsf.org and www.joancartwright.com
AMAZING MUSICWOMEN © 1997 Joan Cartwright, M.A.
Using herstorical overview, songs, and PowerPoint, this presentation chronicles the lives of women who wrote and performed blues and jazz, including Gertrude "Ma" Rainey, Bessie Smith, Alberta Hunter, Ethel Waters, Lil Harding Armstrong, Mary Lou Williams, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughn, Marian McPartland, Dorothy Donegan, Melba Liston, Abbey Lincoln, Betty Carter, Carmen McRae, Joanne Brackeen, Tania Maria, and Toshiko Akiyoshi. Selections include songs by Duke Ellington, Fats Waller, Billie Holiday, Cole Porter, Norman Mapp and Joan Cartwright. [Band: Rochelle Frederick (sax), Robin Alexander (d), Piano and Bass to be announced.]