All-women bands with female bandleaders aren't all that rare and date from the '30's (Ina Rae Hutton q.v.) to the present (DIVAJazz also q.v.) but women leading mixed-gender bands is rare. 2 current leaders: Toshiko Akiyoshi and Maria Schneider.
Maria Schneider Her ax is her baton. Multi-Grammy-award winner + Downbeat polls + she causes others around her to get Grammys, etc. Songwriter, arranger, producer--keeps all the bears away from her projects that she totally controls. The first big recipient of crowd-funding, aiding her control * . Marvelous, complex (in a good way), modern Big Band jazz. Her Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maria_Schneider_(musician) Her Site: http://www.mariaschneider.com/ A Discog: http://www.allmusic.com/artist/maria...85/discography << last 4 projects were crowd-funded--it sure works for her. 7 CDs in 22 years but all stunners.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdIW_AoTi_4 << extended version (15 minutes) w/ some narrative first
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JzuZHvYnBxc << equally at home with Latin rhythms
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIrGXnXPNH0 Pt. 1 of 2 << Doing a Gil Evans piece . That's Ingrid Jensen on fluegelhorn--a gifted player and band leader in her own right.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkF5s-AtQf0 Pt.2 of 2 << Be in the first 1000 to see/hear this tonal-color masterpiece
Guest conducting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDLniVjIdJ8
* About the crowd-funding she received to get that project done without ceding anything to anybody--here's the outfit that was used: http://www.artistshare.com/v4/ << no guarantees and I'm not pimpin' the merch--but then look at who they are assisting--stellar artists (the Spanish Harlem Orchestra, e.g.) and stellar projects (Gil Evans Project, e.g.).