16 Oct
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Bessie Smith

Bessie Smith Bessie Smith was an American blues singer widely renowned during the Jazz Age. Nicknamed the “Empress of the Blues“, she was the most popular female blues singer of the 1920s and 1930s. She is often regarded as one of the greatest singers of her era and was a major influence on fellow blues singers, as well as jazz vocalists. Born in Chattanooga, […]

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16 Oct
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Billie Holiday

Billie Holiday Eleanora Fagan (April 7, 1915 – July 17, 1959), professionally known as Billie Holiday, was an American jazz and swing music singer with a career spanning 26 years. Nicknamed “Lady Day” by her friend and music partner Lester Young, Holiday had an innovative influence on jazz music and pop singing. Famous Song: Strange Fruit Documentaries: Billie | […]

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16 Oct
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Ella Fitzgerald

Ella Fitzgerald Dubbed “The First Lady of Song,” Ella Fitzgerald was the most popular female jazz singer in the United States for more than half a century. In her lifetime, she won 13 Grammy awards and sold over 40 million albums. Her voice was flexible, wide-ranging, accurate and ageless. She could sing sultry ballads, sweet […]

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16 Oct
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Dorothy Donegan

Dorothy Donegan Dorothy Donegan  was an American jazz pianist and vocalist, primarily known for performing in the stride piano and boogie-woogie style. She also played bebop, swing jazz, and classical music. Donegan was born and grew up in Chicago, Illinois, and began studying piano in 1928. She took her first lessons from Alfred N. Simms, a West Indian pianist who also taught Cleo Brown.  She graduated from […]

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16 Oct
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Nina Simone

Nina Simone Eunice Kathleen Waymon , known professionally as Nina Simone, was an American singer, songwriter, musician, arranger, and civil rights activist. Her music spanned a broad range of musical styles including classical, jazz, blues, folk, R&B, gospel, and pop. The sixth of eight children born to a poor family in Tryon, North Carolina, Simone initially aspired to be a concert pianist. With the help of a […]

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16 Oct
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Melba Liston

Melba Liston Melba Doretta Liston was an American jazz trombonist, arranger, and composer. Other than those playing in all female bands she was the first woman trombonist to play in big bands during the 1940s and 1960s, but as her career progressed she became better known as an arranger particularly in partnership with pianist Randy Weston. Famous Song: My Reverie […]

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16 Oct
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Mary Lou Williams

Mary Lou Williams Mary Lou Williams (born Mary Elfrieda Scruggs)was an American jazz pianist, arranger, and composer. She wrote hundreds of compositions and arrangements and recorded more than one hundred records (in 78, 45, and LP versions).[2] Williams wrote and arranged for Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman, and she was friend, mentor, and teacher to Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Tadd Dameron, Bud Powell, and Dizzy Gillespie.   […]

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16 Oct
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Lena Horne

Lena Horne Lena Mary Calhoun Horne was an American singer, dancer, actress, and civil rights activist. Horne’s career spanned over 70 years, appearing in film, television, and theater. Horne joined the chorus of the Cotton Club at the age of 16 and became a nightclub performer before moving to Hollywood.   Famous Song: Stormy Weather  American […]

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16 Oct
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Josephine Baker

Josephine Baker Josephine Baker (born Freda Josephine McDonald, naturalised French Joséphine Baker; 3 June 1906 – 12 April 1975) was an American-born French entertainer, French Resistance agent, freemason[1] and civil rights activist. Her career was centered primarily in Europe, mostly in her adopted France. She was the first black woman to star in a major motion picture, the 1927 silent film Siren of the […]

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16 Oct
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Ethel Waters

Ethel Waters Ethel Waters (October 31, 1896 – September 1, 1977) was an American singer and actress. Waters frequently performed jazz, swing, and pop music on the Broadway stage and in concerts, but she began her career in the 1920s singing blues. Waters notable recordings include “Dinah“, “Stormy Weather“, “Taking a Chance on Love“, “Heat Wave“, “Supper Time“, “Am […]

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