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Hazel Scott

Hazel Scott
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James VanDerZee, 29 Jun 1886 - 15 May 1983
Hazel Scott, 11 Jun 1920 - 2 Oct 1981
Gelatin silver print
Image: 24.1 x 19.3 cm (9 1/2 x 7 5/8")
Sheet: 25.2 x 20.3 cm (9 15/16 x 8")
Mat: 55.9 x 40.6 cm (22 x 16")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Restrictions & Rights
Usage conditions apply
©Donna Mussenden VanDerZee
Object number
Exhibition Label
A gifted pianist and singer who moved easily between jazz and the classics, Hazel Scott dazzled audiences with her witty, daring, and sophisticated performances. Her prodigious talent was evident at an early age. Only fifteen when she appeared as soloist with Count Basie and his orchestra in 1935, Scott made her Broadway debut just three years later. In 1940 her Carnegie Hall performance of a "swing" version of Liszt's Second Hungarian Rhapsody created a sensation, delighting her fans and confounding the critics. From 1939 to 1945 (the year in which she married Congressman Adam Clayton Powell Jr.), Scott not only enjoyed star status as a nightclub performer in New York, but also appeared in several films and toured extensively. A staunch proponent of equal rights, she maintained a professional contract enabling her to refuse to perform before racially segregated audiences.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
United States\New York\Kings\New York