Nominated by Natalie Voelker
Marietta Benevento is a force to be reckoned with. She has worked in male-dominated fields for most of her life and pushed forward through any obstacle in her way. She is an incredible jazz singer and has pursued her skill with relentless diligence. The world of jazz is a boys club; Marietta knows it, laughs about it, calls it out, and works within it to move her passion forward. She is clear-sighted; seeing the bigger picture and knowing how to operate within it. Marietta goes after what she wants. She works hard and pursues every thing she chooses with enthusiasm, lots of hard work, a fierce attitude, and a sense of humor. She takes no bullshit - catching flies with either honey or fire - whatever the situation calls for. Marietta can call bullshit on misogyny and still be able to laugh about it. Her sense of humor eases the sting patriarchy inflicts on ambitious women.
I am inspired by her devotion to living a creative and full life. Artistically, I admire not only her talent, but also her dedication and perseverance. She puts in all the hard work of practice and then demands the respect and recognition that she absolutely deserves. She can roll with the punches - and throw some when needed. She has been - and continues to be - a wonderful friend as well as an inspiring role-model.
*A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this piece will be donated to the New Mexico Musicians Coalition