The overriding WOW(!) factor that jumped out most when the 2012 Jazz and Heritage Festival lineup was released was the caliber of both the newer and established female artists in the lineup. This year the organizers hit the nail on the head with their attention to the amazing array of new female talent to emerge in a big way in recent years. Seven of the premiere live female artists in the world jumped off the screen as I scrolled through the lineup and saw , , Esperanza Spalding (who shocked the world last February by winning the 2011 Grammy for Best New Artist in 2011), , Jill Scott, and – a solid representation of the biggest female artists to ascend into the mainstream conversation as household names over the last 6 or 7 years.