1920-1981 – Born in Port of Spain, Trinidad, Hazel Scott mastered the piano and other instruments at an early age. In 1924 her family moved to the United States, where Scott’s talents were rewarded with a six-year scholarship to the Juilliard School of Music.
Her critically acclaimed debut at New York’s Town Hall and her trumpet and piano performance in her mother’s All Woman Orchestra paved the way for her role as saxophonist with Louis Armstrong’s All Girl Band. In 1945, Scott married Adam Clayton Powell Jr., firebrand preacher, congressman, and civil rights revolutionary.
Acutely aware of the injustice facing African American entertainers, Scott refused to perform for segregated audiences in any of her venues. Her premier nightclub acts, noteworthy Broadway shows, and successful films led in 1950 to the first nationally syndicated musical variety television program hosted by an African American woman, The Hazel Scott Show.