Letters from WIJSF Members

Marcia Dunscomb

Marcia, I just got your books and played some of the pieces. Wonderful! Congratulations!

You are the first member to submit music books to our archive (besides me!).

Thanks, Joan,

It is 20 years of composing and arranging that I am now compiling for publication.  It has been a great distraction.  My piano teaching friends have been after me for years to publish and I didn’t know how.

Being part of your organization has been an energy boost as well.  Thanks for all you do.

Marcia F Dunscomb

Composer, Author, Educator

See bookstore


Janice Harrington

Hello From Germany,

Please have a look at the link for a wonderful article written by Quadrat Magazine Lüneburg ( sorry it is in German, I will have a friend translate it, but I love the pictures) and will send it, again.

quadrat_2022-03.pdf (quadratlueneburg.de)  See page 42. Lucky that I got support from GVL and I have formed a UG company, so I can produce a CD with my original songs, start a label and a music publishing company. I wrote these songs when I lived in Norway in 1982 and 1985. Most people only know me for Blues, Gospel, and a bit of Jazz, but there is the other side of Funk and Rap even a bit of Smooth Jazz. Here are the opening lines of my liner notes for the CD:

I was born on March 26, 1942, in Cleveland, Ohio. My mother, Vendora Childs had an extensive record collection of Jazz and Blues. She sang in the Voices of Victory Choir in Los Angeles. I grew up with Gospel and my writing reflects those styles and more. I am a child of the 1950s and 1960s, so my writing has elements of Rhythm and Blues, Rap and Soul. I dedicated this CD to my mother, my five children, my 22 grandchildren, and my 13 great-grandchildren. Without the support of my mother, I could never have done any of this. She raised my children.

As a child, I dreamed of living in Scandinavia. In 1980, my disco band arrived in Oslo, where I stayed after the tour was over. I came to Germany in 1986.

Here are a few samples from the CD. Old Age is the first track and that is with Blues Organization, my German Blues Band. The Wheeler Dealer is with my Norwegian band. This track is from 1985, and was restored from the 24-track tape and remixed.

The name of the CD is Janice Harrington 80 Years Of International Friendship. It has 16 songs and 14 are original. I have eight tracks with two Norwegian bands, four tracks with Kenn Lending Blues Band Denmark, 2 tracks with 2 different German bands, and one track with my Austrian Big Band, the arranger is Swedish.

Wishing you Good Health and Happiness,


P.S. Since Werner is not on any of the songs we decided to record What A Wonderful World as the last track.  https://www.dropbox.com/s/equp543johytmwm/16.%20What%20A%20Wonderful%20World.wav?dl=0

This is translated in the CD booklet. Louis Armstrong, the great musician sang and played “What A Wonderful World”. And then people said: “The world isn’t wonderful. All the wars that are going on and all the disasters!” Then Louis said: “No, that’s what people do!”

Janice Harrington

The Great Grand Ma | The Great Grand Ma (janice-harrington.com)

Mary Fineman

Dear Joan,

I see that from time to time you use some photos that I’ve sent you. This was taken at my Granddaughter’s wedding and I had the full makeup and hair done, so I thought it would be nice to send you this picture for future reference should you need a good headshot.

It was such a pleasure to hear Mary Fineman’s interview.  I am so grateful for you, Mary, and Grace, and now Sunnie in my life.  A quick update, I have been enjoying time spent with Sunnie, examining the elements of Jazz and how it might apply in my writing. My life is much enriched by all of you. Wishing you a week filled with joy. One of my newest pieces Bridges of Love has elements of clusters and jazz chords into a piece built around the overtone scale. So, it is modern and impressionistic because I incorporated whole tones into the  composition. I am excited to be adding to my knowledge.  


Sheila Firestone

Past President of the National League of American Pen Women (NLAPW) Boca Raton Branch


Dear Dr. Cartwright,
I want to thank you for featuring my song “Here We Are”  from the Women in Jazz South Florida Music Collection #8 in the July 2021 online Newsletter.  I am honored to be on this CD with this stellar group of extraordinary female musicians and hearing my song is just amazing. I am sincerely humbled to be a part of this organization that is bringing to the forefront female musicians from all over the world and highlighting their major accomplishments and contributions to music.  I look forward to working with your team to create MUSICWOMAN, MUSICMAN and now MUSICTEEN Magazines 2022.

Jodylynn Talevi


My maiden name is Love Simon, which happens to be my music brand name. I started singing in my childhood with the aid of videos of children’s songs that our parents bought for me and my five siblings. We enjoyed watching and singing along with the kids. I also remember well that my elder sister got serious in teaching me some songs during the childhood times and I still have those songs fresh in my memory.

When did I start to compose songs, what motivates me, and how did I get on with music to the point of being identified by Women in Jazz South Florida (WIJSF) while living in Africa, my motherland?

During my early teens, my elder sister and I presented some special songs to the congregation and I loved that. Sometimes, I was called up from the congregation to lead in songs. Later on, I joined the church adult choir as a teenager in order to learn the voice parts and sing harmony. My passion for music grew even more and I started singing aloud while doing the house chores. One day, when I was 16, I was doing the dishes and I started singing a new song from inspiration. At once, I realized something new was rolling out from me and I started composing even more songs.

Music became my passion to the point that whenever there is a program where people gather, I prepare some songs to sing to encourage and to give the people hope. In 2009, at the age of 23, after a pre-university course, I decided to take my composed songs to a music studio. The music producer selected one of my songs entitled Amarachukwu. I paid for that single with the money that I saved from my little salary. Then, I decided to keep this produced song as one of my important documents. I moved from Nigeria to join my two siblings in Ghana. The feeling that the people would not identify with the song Amarachukwu that I wrote in Igbo language made me talk less about the song.

Nobody around me gave me a supportive hand in music, but I was strongly self-motivated. And then I started making efforts to be discovered in my new environment. Again, I joined the church choir. In 2014, I longed to be enrolled in a music school, so I applied for music courses abroad. I produced two more songs, It’s Alright and A Manifestor as for my portfolios requested by the school for music course admission. It’s a bit sad that the school did not work out at that time. I continued to promote my music channel where I uploaded my songs on Facebook. Then, I got into a Facebook chat with one of my Facebook friends called Robertson Opoku who told me about Women in Jazz South Florida (WIJSF) and connected me to Joan Cartwright, the founder of this organization that promotes women in music.

Joining Women in Jazz South Florida (WIJSF) in 2015 was quite a remarkable season for me. Guess why. Joan Cartwright asked me to submit my songs for her to make a choice of one for the 6th songs compilation. I was thrilled that she selected Amarachukwu, my song written in the Igbo language rather than one of my other songs written in English. That changed my initial perspective. Now, I could play Amarachukwu, confidently, for anybody who likes to hear my songs.

Being in the monthly zoom meetings together and observing the efforts made and experiences shared by the older women in music is another thing of great value to me as a member of WIJSF. I am excited to have been enrolled in the Women in Jazz Global Scholarship Program that in 2021, which enables my songs to be heard on the 8th compilation CD of women’s music. My thanks and gratitude go to all of the great contributors and supporters who value the gift of God in women in music.


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