Artist spotlight: Hazel Scott (1920-1981)

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A classically trained Trinidadian pianist and child prodigy. Performing from her teenage years she was surrounded by support from her mother’s musician friends who included no less than jazz giants singer Billie Holiday, piano god Art Tatum and trumpeter Louis Armstrong. The first black American woman to have her own TV show, Scott also appeared in a number of movies, was a civil rights activist and refused to perform in front of segregated audiences. Below is a short documentary about her and there’s also a great book about her life which was written based on access to her diaries.

Here’s a fantastic boogie-woogie by Hazel, called a Rainy Night in G, showing a powerful driving left hand chug.

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