“I worked hard to make a deeper character than Mark Watney, Jazz is more nuanced. She’s flawed. She makes bad decisions. She’s incredibly intelligent, but she’s always looking for the shortcut.” ~ Andy Weir
Jasmine "Jazz" Bashara, is looking for a little direction in life while working in Artemis city, the first city to be built on the Moon. She's a porter by trade, but tries to make money with by smuggling on the side – until a potentially huge score drops into her lap and lands her in the middle of a conspiracy for control of the city itself.
She’s incredibly intelligent, but makes bad decisions and very lazy, that's why she is always looking for the shortcut.
Jazz was born in Saudi Arabia and moved to Artemis when she was six years old with her father, Ammar Bashara, a Saudi Arabian national. She now considers herself an Artemisian rather than any particular Earth nationality. Her mother left them at some point during her first six years.
She also grew up with Mr Nakoshi, a man who was almost an uncle to her. However, in the Artemis, she describes him as 'perhaps a distant cousin'. The two now appear to be merely business associates, as she bribes him to approve boxes of contraband, which arrive in the city thanks to Kelvin Otieno and come on KSC Freighters.
When she was seventeen she was in a bad relationship with a twenty-three year old named Sean. An incident occurred after a group involving Sean, Jazz and friends decided to smoke marijuana in Jazz's father's new shop. There was an accident and the shop burnt down. Rudy could never prove that they were in possession of contraband but he has been trying to catch her out ever since.
She moved out of her father's house and into Sean's apartment where they lived together for a few months. Their relationship was not exclusive and he frequently slept with other women. They had a deal that, as long as no one did it at his apartment, they could sleep with whomever they liked. It was later revealed that these 'other women' were minors and one of the girls' (age fourteen) family took it upon themselves to punish Sean for his paedophilia (as their is no official police force or age of consent in Artemis due to the mix of cultures and lack of proper government).
She ended up on the street as she had no place to stay. It is illegal to be homeless in Artemis so she had to avoid people at night, especially Rudy, and worked as a porter to earn some money. This was initially meant to be a temporary arrangement as detailed in one of her many letters to Kelvin. She didn't go back to her father's house because she was ashamed that she had cost him his shop.
It was around this time that she met Dale and they became best friends. They would often hang out at Billy's bar; Hartnell's Pub. Jazz also got into a relationship with Tyler, a sweet guy who is 'the only man [Jazz] has ever loved' but both her friendship and her relationship fell apart when Dale and Tyler slept together. They are still in a relationship to this day.
Jazz continued her portering and smuggling but cut herself off from Dale and Tyler and spent most of her time working, drinking at Hartnell's or wishing she was rich until Trond Landvik approached her with a proposition that could help make her rich.
Jazz is an intelligent, witty, irreverent and resourceful person. She is also chronically lazy, looking for the easy way out of any situation. She is a self-described asshole, but loves her home and would do anything to help the residents of her beloved city of Artemis. She is also a skilled welder, knowledgeable about EVA's, and is brilliant at manipulating others to get what she needs.
Due to how expensive it is to live on Artemis and the fact that she's spent her life as a local working class citizen in an overpriced tourist trap she seems to have a deep disdain for the upper class, often referring to names such as 'J. Worthalot Richbastard III' and others.
Because of Jazz's behaviour, cynicism and alcoholism she has few friends. The three individuals she gets along best with are Martin Svoboda, Kelvin, and Billy, who she only sees when she goes to his bar. She refers to Trond as a 'good guy' but feels rather antagonistically towards many others, such as Rudy, Dale, Tyler, Irina and Mr Nakoshi. Towards the end of Artemis, Jazz makes up with Dale and Tyler, and assists Rudy by incapacitating Alvares, indicating she may feel less antagonistic towards him. She is also frequently shown to be angry at the EVA masters guild, referring to them as 'dicks' and criticizing many of their behaviours.
Jazz is Middle Eastern in appearance and apparently very attractive. She has brown eyes and dark brown/black hair.
- Bashara is an Arabic name that means “good news”, “good omen”, “cause for celebration”. It is derived from the B-SH-R root which is used in many places in the Quran which is slightly ironic as Jazz is not a very devote Muslim.
- Whilst pretending to be Nuha Nejem Jazz said "Ma'alesh, ana ma'aref Englizy" (معليش أنا مااعرف إنجليزي) which translates to "It's okay, I don’t speak English".