Jazz history’s 11 most influential Black women bandleaders

JAZZ.FM91 is proud to present African-American Women Bandleaders of Early America, in celebration of Black History Month.

You may have developed an unconscious bias in thinking that the only people who play in swing bands are men. To the contrary, there have always been women in jazz — and there have always been Black women leading those bands.

The purpose of this week’s special feature for Black History Month is to highlight these women — many of whom have been forgotten over time. You’ll hear about important female figures in jazz history including Lil Hardin-Armstrong, Hazel Scott, Mary Lou Williams, Dorothy Ashby and more.

This special feature is curated and narrated by trombonist and composer Ron Westray, the Oscar Peterson Chair in Jazz Performance at York University.

Tune in this Saturday at 3 pm.