Most kids take their piano lessons at school, or at a neighbor’s house. But Hazel Scott was always a bit above “chopsticks”.
You’re on the Sound Beat.
Hazel Scott was a child prodigy, playing by 3 and improvising on the keys by 5. She received formal training at none other than the Juilliard school of New York, where she won a classical music scholarship at age 8. She would blend her classical training with the smooth sounds of jazz, blues and popular songs, and was a Café Society star by the late 1930’s. It would become her signature sound: “swinging the classics.” Here she is with Rainy Night in G.
How did Billie Holiday take a dive for Scott?
When Billie heard word of an up and coming Hazel Scott, she decided to play hooky for the night, and let Hazel fill in for her at Cafe Society. Big shoes to fill, to say the least, but Hazel filled in admirably.