I am a Seattle-based jazz historian, writer, and editor. As long as I can remember, I have loved everything musical—be it the music itself, the amazing composers and performers who create it, or the stories behind the scenes. In addition to writing and blogging about jazz and classical music, I have taught music history classes and spoken internationally about big band “girl singers” and women in jazz, including one of my favorite musicians, Sarah Vaughan. This extraordinary vocalist is the subject of my book—the biography Queen of Bebop: The Musical Lives of Sarah Vaughan, published by Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins.
Sarah Vaughan (1924-1990) has been described as the greatest, most creative vocal artist of the twentieth century, and Queen of Bebop: The Musical Lives of Sarah Vaughan tells her story. Equal parts biography, criticism, and good old-fashioned American success story, Queen of Bebop chronicles Vaughan’s rise from a poor church girl to a jazz legend to symphony orchestra diva. This is not just a story about jazz, popular music, and an extraordinary singer. It is a story about the American experience.
Lady Be Bop is a blog on women in music and popular culture. All music is fair game, but I spend most of my time discussing jazz, in particular jazz vocalists. I delve into the music that these remarkable artists, both past and present, created, the challenges they encountered along the way, and what it all means—then and now.