Scott, hazel

11 de junio de 1920
2 de octubre de 1981

The pianist and singer Hazel Dorothy Scott was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad, to Alma Long Scott, a musician, and Thomas Scott, a college professor. In 1924 her father obtained a teaching position in the United States, and the family moved to New York City.

Scott began playing the piano at age two and made her performance debut at age three in Trinidad. At the initiative of her mother, she began formal musical training when the family moved to New York; she made her U.S. debut as a five-year-old at New York's Town Hall. Three years later, Scott auditioned for a scholarship at Juilliard School of Music. Although it was decided that she was too young to enter the school, Professor Paul Wagner, who presided over the audition, was so impressed with her rendition of Rachmaninoff's Prelude in C-Sharp Minor that he offered to take her on as a private student.

Scott's father died in 1934, and her mother took a job as a saxophonist in Lil Hardin Armstrong's all-female band. A few months later, Scott's mother decided to organize her own band—Alma Long Scott's All-Woman Orchestra—with Hazel playing both piano and trumpet. In 1936, at age sixteen, Scott played with the Count Basie Orchestra at the Roseland Ballroom and on a radio program broadcast on the Mutual Broadcasting System. By age eighteen, already a veteran of the road, Scott appeared on Broadway in the musical Cante hacia fuera las noticias. She then became a film actress in the 1940s and played herself in such films as Algo del otro mundo (1943) Ritmo de Broadway (1944), y Rhapsody in Blue (1945). In 1945, in a high-profile marriage, Scott married New York Representative Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Although the marriage quickly faltered, beginning with a separation of several years and finally ending in divorce in 1956, the couple produced one child, Adam Clayton Powell III, in 1946.

In 1950 Scott hosted a summer television program, Hazel de Scott, on which she performed show tunes and café favorites, becoming the first black woman to host her own television program. However, as a political activist who had refused to appear before segregated audiences and was a vocal critic of McCarthyism, she was listed in the notorious Canales rojos, a publication of names of entertainers who were thought to be involved in Communist Party activity. On September 14, 1950, Scott testified before the House Un-American Activities Committee in defense of her right to appear at rallies and events for political causes. Her show was canceled shortly thereafter.

In 1961 Scott moved to Europe after remarrying, but when her marriage ended in divorce five years later, she returned to the United States. Upon her return, she made guest appearances on such television shows as Julia e Los audaces. Scott continued to perform in New York–area clubs until a few months before her death from cancer in 1981.

Véase también William James "Count"; Jazz; Music in the United States


Bogle, Donald. Negros en el cine y la televisión estadounidenses. Nueva York: Garland, 1988.

Hine, Darlene Clark, ed. Mujeres negras en América, 2d ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.

kenya dilday (1996)
Bibliografía actualizada