Hazel Scott's Extraordinary Career

Sound & Vision
Hosted by Emily Fox

Hazel Scott was a Black pianist who was classically trained at Juilliard at the age of eight and started making a name for herself while still in high school.

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photo by Gilles Petard/Redferns

Hazel Scott was a Black pianist who was classically trained at Juilliard at the age of eight and started making a name for herself as a performer in New York in the 1930s while she was still in high school. She went on to play big concert halls and notable nightclubs. As stated in a biography about her by actor and author Karen Chilton, “She was the first black woman to host her own television show and one of the first to refuse to perform before segregated audiences. She negotiated lucrative contracts with Hollywood studios, becoming one of the highest-paid performers of her era.” Chilton speaks with Emily Fox about Hazel’s life and career and why she might not be a household name today despite her extraordinary career.

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