The 2020 Sync Up Conference

March 11, 2020
Time: 7:00 p.m.
George and Joyce Wein Jazz & Heritage Center
1225 N. Rampart Street
New Orleans, LA
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The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation hosts a special Sync Up event featuring Germaine Bazzle in conversation with Gwen Thompkins. Ms. Bazzle - a steward of New Orleans music, a powerhouse bandleader, and an esteemed educator - will discuss her life in music and performance.

The event will be held at the George and Joyce Wein Jazz & Heritage Center, 1225 N. Rampart Street, New Orleans. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and the program will begin at 7:00 p.m. Admission to this event is free, but we ask attendees to RSVP by completing this online form (link).

This series of programs focusing on women and femme-identifying persons comes during a time when the lack of women in roles throughout the music industry has come to the forefront. It’s time to make the music industry more inclusive for everyone. This SyncUp is part of an ongoing effort by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation to address inequities in the music industry. The event is presented as part of the March 2020 concert series, Chanteuse: Celebrating New Orleans Women in Music


Germaine Bazzle is one of New Orleans most respected jazz vocalists and musicians. After graduating from Xavier University of New Orleans with a degree in Music Education, she began a career as a music teacher during the day and a bassist and vocalist at night with a traditional jazz band. Germain’s unique talent and unparalleled artistry as a vocalist is perhaps one of New Orleans’ best-kept secrets. Her voice is rich, full of quirks and surprises - sometimes she will add idiosyncrasies where they are least expected or veer off into scatting. She was influenced by the greats like Sarah Vaughn and Ella Fitzgerald; she takes on a repertoire of classic jazz, American popular songs, show tunes, and the music of Duke Ellington, Cole Porter and George Gershwin - true legends of elegance, grace, and style. “The voice is the original musical instrument and sometimes we forget that. Learning how to do the scales, learning how to do the arpeggios, learning how to read music...all of these things make good jazz.” In any standard number her improvisations may suggest the sounds of a wind instrument or a percussion instrument, always displaying an abundance of technique and flexibility and never singing the same song the same way. As the music flows and resonates through her, she radiates an engaging warmth and an infectious joy when she sings. Her command of tone and melody coupled with her brilliance in the manipulation of her own vocal timbre are spectacular.

Gwen Thompkins is a journalist, writer and native of New Orleans. She was the longtime senior editor of NPR’s Weekend Edition with Scott Simon and later NPR’s East Africa bureau chief, based in Nairobi, Kenya. Following a fellowship at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University, (Class of 2011), she returned to New Orleans full time. Currently, she is the co-creator, executive producer and host of the weekly public radio program Music Inside Out with Gwen Thompkins, which showcases the unusually varied musical landscape of Louisiana. A full archive of the show can be found at

The Sync Up Conference Festival Archive:
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Sync Up gratefully acknowledges the following sponsors:

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation, Inc.