Notable Black Females of Jazz

by | Jun 22, 2016 | Music

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Eleanor Collins
She was born on November 21st, 1919 in Canada. Jazz vocalist Collins included the first Canadian musician to have a national TV series named for her within 1955 named the “Eleanor” show. Collins’ musical appearances and career started in the 1940’s on both CBC TV and radio in which she had a vibrant and long career spanning several decades.

Ella Fitzgerald
Fitzgerald made her debut at age 17 on November 21st, 1934, in the Apollo Theater within Harlem, NY. Female American Jazz Vocalists like Fitzgerald pulled in a weekly audience in the Apollo, as well as won the chance to compete within amongst the earliest of its well-known “Amateur Nights”. Originally, she’d intended to go on stage to dance, yet, intimidated by the Edwards Sisters, an area dance duo, Fitzgerald chose to instead sing in the style of Connee Boswell. Ella sang Boswell’s “The Object of My Affection,” and “Judy,” a tune recorded by the Boswell Sisters, and she won the $25 first prize.

Lena Horne
Singer and actress Lena Horne was born on June 30th, 1917, within Brooklyn, NY. Horne left school when she was 16 to assist in supporting her mom and became a dancer with the Cotton Club inside Harlem. Lena later sang at Carnegie Hall then appeared in films like The Wiz and Stormy Weather. Also, she was well-known for her work with civil rights groups. She refused to play parts which stereotyped Black women.

Horne, at age 16, dropped out of school then started to perform at Harlem’s Cotton Club. A couple of years later, Lena joined with the Noble Sissle Society Orchestra, under the name Helena Horne. And, after appearing within the Broadway musical of 1939 Lew Leslie’s Blackbirds, Lena joined the Charlie Barnet Orchestra, a famous white swing band.

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