Celebrating Women in Jazz

April is National Jazz Appreciation Month, and we're celebrating America's own music with displays for the eyes and jazz for the ears all day long. The theme for this year's celebration is Women & Jazz: Transforming a Nation, so we'll be featuring some of the great women jazz musicians here. Click here for histories and samples from some of the greats.

Our featured musicians:
Billie Holiday     Mary Lou Williams     The International Sweethearts of Rhythm
Melba Liston     Marian McPartland

Marian McPartland, born in England, has been hailed as one of the great jazz pianists, writers, and small combo leaders. From 1952-1960 she headed the trio at the Hickory House, one of the last of the great New York jazz clubs. More recently, she hosted (and won a Peabody award for) the radio show Piano Jazz on NPR until 1990, received Downbeat magazine's lifetime achievement award in 1994, and continues to educate on jazz.

 

Click here to learn more about Marian McPartland

Melba Liston was one of America's great jazz trombonists, as well as a consummate composer and arranger. Beginning her career at age 16 in the "pit band" of an LA vaudeville theatre, she was soon writing music in addition to playing for the shows. She wrote and played with some of the biggest stars of the bebop era, including Dizzy Gillespie, Randy Weston, Charles Mingus, Slide Hampton, and more.

 

Click here to learn more about Melba Liston

The International Sweethearts of Rhythm were the first  all-female, integrated swing band. Begun as a school fundraiser for the Piney Woods Country Life School in Mississippi and led by Anna Mae Winburn, the Sweethearts went on to break attendance records at their concerts in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, Detroit, and Washington, D.C. Several other bands formed during this era, including the Darlings of Rhythm, proving that jazz and music in general were in no way purely a male art.

 

Click here to learn more about the International Sweethearts of Rhythm and the Darlings of Rhythm

Mary Lou Williams (1910-1981) was one of the few female jazz instrumentalists to achieve fame and be accepted as "one of the guys." Beginning her career with swing and the big bands of the 1930s, she grew and experimented as jazz itself evolved, continuing to compose and perform until her death. She even taught at Duke University and set up The Mary Lou Williams Foundation to help children study with leading jazz players.

 

To learn more about Mary Lou Williams, click here.

Billie Holiday (1915-1959) is widely regarded as one of the greatest female jazz vocalists of all time, particularly for the wistful nature her tone and timing imparted to the music, all the more impressive as her musical education was completely self-taught.


To learn more about Billie Holiday, click here.

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Guest (not verified):

I have a few questions about the criminal justice program and all it has to offer at BMCC and I would like to know as an incoming college student what classes would be recommended to take that would transfer over to a four year college?

ejensen:

The best place to go for your answers is BMCC's Criminal Justice department. (Click the link to go to their site.) The department's website can answer many of your questions. You can also contact the criminal justice coordinator, Jim Tomlinson, at 541-523-9127 x 3208 or JTomlinson@Bluecc.edu for more information.
 

Erik Jensen
Assistant to the Librarian
BMCC Library
erik.jensen@bluecc.edu

Guest (not verified):

great blog, enjoyed the video clip!

ejensen:

Thanks! Check back often -- we'll be featuring clips of and information about other great women jazz artist all month!
 

Erik Jensen
Assistant to the Librarian
BMCC Library
erik.jensen@bluecc.edu

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