Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Catch JungleFowl and The Gator at Small's and Learn a Little Bit About Girls Rock Detroit from One of the Ladies Who Started It All

Last year I toured the "Women Who Rock" display when it traveled through town. The Henry Ford had lots of costumes from some of the ladies that have had the biggest impact on music, including Cher, Kathleen Hanna, and of course my favorite, Miss Lady Gaga. It was very powerful to be surrounded by so many strong women who have done so many amazing things, I left the exhibit recharged and full of girl power. I imagine that is the same way you feel after attending a Girls Rock Detroit music camp.

Girls Rock Detroit is a local music camp for little ladies who want to learn how to play an instrument, write a song, or record a beat. Powerful local female musicians Melissa Coppola (Junglefowl), Ros Hartigan (of Blue Pontiac) and Willa Adamo (of Ms. Willa Rae & The Minor Arcana) joined together to create this group. These talented local female figures recruited other local artists like Allison Hanna (The Gator) and Val Klaft (MPV) to teach some of this summer's classes. They worked with the female youth of Detroit to give girls access to musical instruments to see where their creativity may take them. These ladies are doing something amazing for music and for women. They are essentially creating and inspiring the next generation of women who rock. After spending the summer working together, they decided to link up and start playing shows together whenever possible, the first of which will take place this Saturday, August 22nd at Small's in Hamtramck.

The Gator and Junglefowl have teamed up with Monica LaPlante and Murder Shoes from Minneapolis to bring you a fun female packed lineup. Tickets for the show are only $7 at the door and 18+ are welcome. Doors for the show are at 8 p.m. and music starts promptly at 9. Check out our interview with Melisa Coppola from Girls Rock Detroit and Junglefowl to learn more about her, her music, and the organization, then consider spending your Saturday with these ladies.

HID- Who are your biggest musician influences?
Melissa- "National? Probably St. Vincent and Band of Skulls. Great shows, great songwriting, and fuzz galore. What more can you ask for?
Local? MPV and The Erers - some of our favorite Detroit musicians, and really just people in general.
Fictional? Sex Bob-Omb. (All our shows are secret shows.)"

HID- How would you describe your must to someone who has never heard it?
Melissa- "Loud and anxious. Sometimes dance-y... always fuzzy."

HID- Why did you decide to team up with The Gator to play this show?
Melissa- "I met Allison when she applied to volunteer for Girls Rock Detroit (I'm the volunteer coordinator.) She was a band coach at camp and then stepped up as our showcase producer. We spent a lot of time together during camp week and talked about being in bands together, so it only made sense to recommend The Gator when Hollander Records reached out to put us on a bill with Monica LaPlante and Murder Shoes."

HID- Who formed Girls Rock Detroit? What is the idea behind the organization?
Melissa- "Girls Rock Detroit was founded by myself, Rosalind Hartigan (of Blue Pontiac) and Willa Adamo (of Ms. Willa Rae & The Minor Arcana). We all met at Girls Rock Chicago in 2012 and kept in touch, agreeing that a camp in Michigan needed to happen soon. Willa and I volunteered at the first Girls Rock Iowa City camp the summer of 2014, and Girls Rock Grand Rapids started their first session that same year - so the time just seemed right. We starting getting together for regular meetings in September of 2014."

HID- What is Girls Rock Detroit?
Melissa- "Basically, it is an amazing music camp where girls learn to play instruments, form bands, write original songs and perform a concern at a live music venue. We also offer a DJ program!
Most of the girls have never played music before, and we provide all of the equipment and instruments for them to use during camp. This year was our first year of camp, and we had 25 campers attend, and about 40 women donate their time to volunteer. It was a wildly successful first camp and we can't wait until next year's sessions(s)!
We are a pending member of the Girls Rock Camp Alliance, which is a non-profit that unites all of the girls rock camps across the country in one similar mission: We all desire to achieve a reality where gender and culture do not decide whether a person can play music. At camp, we use methods to encourage campers' creativity, provide a variety of different musicians and mentors as role models, and a curriculum that is a broad introduction to the world of music.
For more background on the Girls Rock Camp Alliance, check out"

HID- Tell us a little bit about what the girls who attend the camp learn?
Melissa- "We offer music instruction (instrument lessons, DJ lessons, and band coaching) in addition to a great program of workshops led by experienced female musicians, artists and activists from Metro Detroit. This year, the workshops included Women's Rock History, Songwriting, Self-Esteem, Urban Farming, Screen Printing, Stage Presence, Zine-Making, and more!"

HID- Why do you think it is so important to have an organization like this?
Melissa- "Girls Rock Detroit is crucial to our community! We are empowering girls with the knowledge to create and express themselves in a way that is not usually encouraged - playing music. We are helping train and grow the next generation of female musicians. We are empowering them with the confidence to pursue their dreams.
Not only are the leaders acting as role models for our younger generation, we are creating a stronger community of female musicians in Detroit."

HID- How can someone help support Girls Rock Detroit if they believe in what you are doing?
Melissa- "There are so many ways!
FOLLOW US on social media (Facebook, Twitter) and sign up for our mailing list for starters.
TELL YOUR FRIENDS! We want all parents and kids to know about our camp so that they can apply!
VOLUNTEER to plan for next year's camp by becoming a member of our leadership team! You can also volunteer for camp week as an instrument instructor, band coach, workshop leader, roadie, foodie and/or counselor! It's only a 6 day commitment out of the whole year, and you get to meet and work with the coolest gals you will ever meet. Other ways to volunteer: donate artwork, music, graphic designs, logos, web design, etc. If you have a special talent that you think would be helpful to our organization, we would love to work with you!!!
DONATE gear or instruments to our camp. We provide all gear and instruments for the girls each year, and we desperately need to expand our inventory. We'll take drum sets, guitars, DJ turntables, basses, keyboards, practice amps, cables, stands, strings, picks, sticks... if it's music related, we can find a use for it! We'll also take monetary donations and offer tax deductible receipts.
APPLY for your child to be a camper! Girls ages 8-16 are eligible to apply and we offer financial aid for qualifying campers."


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