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EPJG Composers 2024!

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  • Learn about theory and improvisation, and compose, arrange, and record your own music!

  • Taught by professional female musicians from El Paso

  • Meet other girls from El Paso to create a support system for auditions and beyond!



  • Open to students going into 7-12th grade AND recently graduated seniors who identify as female*

  • *We use an inclusive definition of "female" and "girls" and welcome trans girls, as well as genderqueer, non-binary, and gender non-conforming students.

  • No previous jazz experience required!

  • Open to ALL instruments and vocalists!! If you play tuba, cello, flute, violin - literally anything, you are welcome!!





  • July 8-11, 9:00am - 4:00pm MST & July 12, 9:00am - 12pm MST 

  • July 12, 6pm MST El Paso Jazz Girls LIVE Concert! Invite your friends and family to hear participants' compositions and performances live. Concert will be at Young Women's Leadership Academy.



  • Our goal is to increase the number of girls in jazz and build confidence through composition/songwriting

  • Our program is fun, supportive, and costs nothing!

  • Just bring your instrument. Breakfast and Lunch is provided by YWLA!



  • Click here to sign up -

  • Have questions? Send us an email!

  • If you need assistance with instrument or other needs – please don’t hesitate to contact us!

Meet The Teaching Artists

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Carmen Salas

Carmen Salas is currently studying Music Education at The University of Texas at El Paso. Carmen has been playing the saxophone for ten years and has had the privilege of performing with The Marching Miners, the UTEP Pep Band, the Symphonic Band, the Concert Band, the Wind Ensemble, Jazz II, Jazz I and various chamber ensembles. Carmen has also held various leadership positions including, principle saxophonist in the Symphonic Band, Drum Major and Undergraduate Assistant in the Marching Miners. During her time with the UTEP Jazz I ensemble, Carmen was awarded the Michael Bustillos Scholarship and recently performed at the 2023 TMEA Convention with the UTEP Jazz I ensemble.


Chantal Camus

Chantal Camus is a bassist, vocalist, and composer from El Paso, Texas, currently living in New York City. She is studying Jazz Performance at The New School as a double bassist. Has been an alumna at El Paso Jazz Girls, Jazz House Kids, and El Paso Youth Jazz Ensemble. Recently, she has been songwriting and releasing music of her own in all music platforms. 

Check out her music and vlogs through: 


Alejandra Munoz

Proudly born and raised in Socorro, Texas, Alejandra Munoz is a jazz pianist currently studying in the field of medicine. She received her formal jazz training in Atlanta, Georgia under the guidance of renowned jazz pianist Gary Motley at Emory University. Her interest in jazz started during her time at Socorro High School were she was able to gain an introduction to the field of improvisation. Her passions currently lie in the field of health and educational equity, with her ongoing participation in various clinical and education interventions in the Paso Del Norte region.

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Amy Smith

Amy Smith is a nationally recognized performer and educator. As a member of the percussion group, Caixa Trio she has performed in France, Puerto Rico, South Korea, Mexico and Brazil. Amy was the national winner of the 1996 MTNA Collegiate Percussion Competition and a member of the 1994 Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps. Learn more at


Pie Sisters

Hailing from El Paso, the PIE Sisters, also known as "PIE," have spent the past few years crafting their own unique sound in the music scene of West Texas. With a blend of R&B, soul, and lyricism they have become a celebrated fixture in El Paso’s music community, captivating audiences with renditions of timeless classics and their heartfelt original compositions. Their authentic passion for songwriting, undeniable family charisma, and harmonious performances create an unforgettable experience that resonates deeply with listeners.

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Jhoely Garay

Jhoely Garay is a New York City-based guitarist, composer, arranger and educator from Mexico City, Mexico, whose music expresses her passion for straight-ahead swing, contemporary jazz, and musics and rhythms from Latin America.

Garay has collaborated with iconic artists such as Steve Wilson, Darcy James Argue, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Peter Bernstein, Rogerio Boccato; and her work has been presented in venues like The National Jazz Museum in Harlem, The Public Theater, The Clemente Soto Cultural Center, The Stone, The Metropolitan Museum, and and at Carnegie Hall.


Garay is a Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation Ambassador, a Landesmusikrat Berlin Commission awardee, ASCAP Fran Morgenstern Composition awardee, awardee of the National Fund for Culture and the Arts in Mexico. She holds a Bachelor's in jazz guitar performance from The City College of New York and a Master’s in composition from the Manhattan School of Music.


Amanda Ekery

Multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, and composer Amanda Ekery is based in New York City and creates music filled with imagery and strong narratives. Her work has earned support from New Music USA, Chamber Music America, and the Jerome Foundation, has been featured at the Portland Jazz Festival, Panama Jazz Festival, and The Kennedy Center, and spans Off-Broadway theater, film, and studio recordings. Amanda’s 2018 album “Keys With No Purpose,” and her most recent album, “Some (more) Short Songs,” released in 2021 wer praised in Downbeat Magazine saying, “her compositions are great” and “full of moments of amazingness.”


She was awarded the 2022 Jazz Hero Award from the Jazz Journalist Association for her dedication to gender equity work with El Paso Jazz Girls. Learn more at

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Flora Newberry

Flora Newberry started playing trumpet in her elementary school band program at age 8 in Oak Park, Illinois, in 1974. From 1978-1983 she studied privately with Mario O’neglia, professor at Montclair State College, in Montclair, NJ. Throughout high school she expanded her studies to include classical and jazz piano, and began attending jazz classes at Jazzmobile in New York City.  She studied orchestral trumpet at the Juilliard school, earning her Bachelor’s degree in trumpet in  1987. From 1988 to 1990 she was Principal Trumpet of the Orquesta Sinfonica de la Universidad de Guanajuato, in Guanajuato, Mexico. From 1991 to 1993 pursued Jazz studies at William Paterson College. After a 20 year career of teaching and freelancing in the New York/New Jersey/Philadelphia area, she moved to El Paso to pursue her Masters degree in Music Education at UTEP. She currently teaches Elementary Music at Montana Vista Elementary in the Clint ISD. She currently enjoys playing many different styles of music including classical, jazz, and rock, and also writes and performs her own songs.


Brittany Tawater

Brittany Tawater is a musician, artist and educator based in El Paso, TX. Currently, she is a clarinetist with the 1st Armored Division Band at Fort Bliss.

Prior to coming to enlisting in the army she was the University Band Coordinator for Schreiner University (Kerrville, TX), an Instructor for Tarrant County College (Hurst, TX) and Hardin Simmons University (Abilene, TX), and Band Director for Silsbee ISD (Silsbee, TX) and Abilene ISD (Abilene, TX). Her professional affiliations include Texas Music Educators Association, International Clarinet Association, and Percussive Arts Society.

She is actively continuing her studies as a vocalist, flutist, and percussionist, and plays with the El Paso based “Samba Alma de Fogo”. In her spare time she enjoys traveling, drawing and drinking coffee.

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Sarah Vasquez

I was born and raised in El Paso, Texas. I attended Eastwood high school where I studied under Art Avila and Brian  Andrade. I am currently a music education major at Texas A&M University Commerce(TAMUC), studying under Dr. Brian Zator. I have been playing percussion for eight years. Through my time at TAMUC, I have been involved in percussion ensembles, brass choir, steel band, Brazilian band, as well as concert ensembles. I have been involved in Drum Corps International for the past three summers. I was at Academy Drum & Bugle Corps in 2015, Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps in 2016-2017, and have been given the opportunity to perform with the Concord Blue Devils this summer.

During my time at TAMUC I have worked at the Campus Recreation Center and have been offered a teaching position at Paris High School for the Fall 2018 marching season and 2019 WGI season.


Stephanie Munoz

Stephanie Munoz, an El Paso native, is a phenomenal saxophonist and teaching artist. She currently teaches for the Boston Public School District, the Metropolitan Opera Guild, and is passionate about sharing music.


Danika Scholten

Hello! My name is Danika, and I am going to be a second-year student at UTEP getting a degree in biomedical sciences. Even though I hope to pursue dentistry, I am still very passionate about music and have continued to play the cello and take music classes in college. I’m very excited to be a part of this amazing club this summer!

-Danika is an El Paso Jazz Girls' alum!

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