Giant Steppes of Jazz
Deb has worked closely with the Arts Council of Mongolia and local musicians there to support the development of jazz. Through conversations with local musicians, she learned how difficult it was for aspiring jazz players to get access to recorded and written music. With the help of her friend Ganbat, a local jazz piano player, and the Arts Council of Mongolia, the Mongolian Jazz Listening Library was established in 2002, bringing a significant body of jazz recordings and charts to Mongolian musicians. In 2004, Deb was involved in the successful launch of the Giant Steppes International Jazz Festival in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. In 2006, the Giant Steppes of Jazz NGO was formed and Debra serves on the Board of Directors as the International Artist Liaison.
Debra has been involved in the organizational side of jazz in Calgary since August 2010, when she joined a jazz stakeholder committee formed by the Calgary Arts Development Authority (CADA). She was a member of the volunteer team that carried out surveys of audience and musician opinions, a study of best practice and the Calgary Jazz Summit held September 10, 2011. Subsequently, she was a member of the Working Committee that developed an Action Plan to turn the Summit’s vision for the future into reality. She now serves on the Board of Directors of JazzYYC (The Jazz Is Society of Alberta), the organization that has taken on the mandate to promote, present and nurture and vibrant year-round jazz scene in Calgary. She served as Secretary in 2012 and accepted the role of President in 2013. In 2019, Deb stepped into the role of Past-President so she could focus more time on her own music.
Debra is also a member of the Calgary Musicians Association and SOCAN.