Women’s History Month is underway. What better way to start off this special month than by highlighting one of Detroit’s trailblazing women in music, the renowned jazz drummer Gayelynn McKinney, who’s made her presence known in what was once a male-dominated area of the music industry.  

As the daughter of legendary Detroit jazz pianist and Tribe member, Harold McKinney, and the late singer Gwen Shepherd McKinney, Gayelynn jokes she didn’t have much of a choice in her career path. Now, as one of Detroit’s most accomplished drummers, McKinney sits down with 90.9 WRCJ host Cecelia Sharpe for a conversation about her roots and the importance of showcasing women in music.  

They talk about the barriers McKinney has had to break through as a female drummer, her trailblazing work with Straight Ahead, an all-female jazz band that formed after McKinney finished college, and the recent launch of her “Women Who Drum” festival in 2022 as a way to share the love and highlight female drummers in the music industry. 

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