Scott, Hazel (Dorothy)

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Scott, Hazel (Dorothy)

Scott, Hazel (Dorothy), jazz pianist, singer; b. Port of Spain, Trinidad, June 11, 1920; d. N.Y., Oct. 2, 1981. She was taken to the U.S. as a child and was musically nurtured by her mother, who led an all-female band. Hazel enrolled in the Juilliard School of Music in N.Y. but soon abandoned all academic ambitions and began playing in nightclubs. In 1938, she sang in the Broadway show Sing Out the News; she also appeared in several films, including Broadway Rhythm and Rhapsody in Blue. From 1939–45, she performed at Cafe Society Downtown, a Greenwich Village club in N.Y. In 1945, she married Adam Clayton Powell Jr., an African-American congressman from Harlem; they divorced in 1960 when he became embroiled in messy political, financial, and personal troubles. She moved to Paris and became popular at nightclubs there. She returned to N.Y. in 1967, remaining active as a performer until a few weeks before her death of pancreatic cancer.

Discography

Late Show (1952); Hazel Scott (1952); Relaxed Piano Moods (1955); Afterthoughts (1980).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Lewis Porter