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Bertha Hope

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Information about Bertha Hope

Profile image of Bertha Hope

Profession

Category:
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
Jazz Pianist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Turquoise
Favorite Food:
Crawfish
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands
Favorite Quote:
Education Is Not A Preparation For Life. It Is Life.

Birthplace

Born:
11/8/1936
Birth Location:
Vicksburg, Mississippi

Profession

Category:
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
Jazz Pianist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Turquoise
Favorite Food:
Crawfish
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands
Favorite Quote:
Education Is Not A Preparation For Life. It Is Life.

Birthplace

Born:
11/8/1936
Birth Location:
Vicksburg
See how Bertha Hope is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Jazz pianist Bertha Hope-Booker was born on November 8, 1936, to Corinne Meaux and Clinton Rosemond. Raised in western Los Angeles, California, Hope-Booker attended Manual Arts High School. As a youth, she performed in numerous Los Angeles clubs. Hope-Booker studied piano at Los Angeles Community College and later received her B.A. degree in early childhood education from Antioch College.

In her youth, Hope-Booker played music with and learned from other young musicians in her neighborhood. Some of them became famous later, including Richie Powell and Elmo Hope, the latter becoming her husband in 1957. She moved with Elmo Hope to the Bronx, New York, where she worked at a telephone company during the day while performing at night. After her husband’s passing in 1967, she continued to present his music and remained an active force in improvised music within the New York jazz scene. Hope-Booker served as an artist-in-residence under the auspices of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. Through this program, she performed in statewide New Jersey music workshops with Dizzy Gillespie, Frank Foster, Nat Adderley and Philly Joe Jones.

Hope-Booker later married Walter Booker, Jr., and the two worked to keep the music of Elmo Hope alive through Hope-Booker’s tribute ensemble called ELMOllenium and The Elmo Hope Project. She also plays with another group, Jazzberry Jam. In addition, Hope-Booker is the leader of The Bertha Hope Trio, which has toured extensively throughout Japan. She is a composer and arranger with several recordings under her name, including In Search of Hope and Elmo’s Fire (Steeplechase); Between Two Kings (Minor Records) and her latest on the Reservoir label, Nothin’ But Love. Hope-Booker has also taught an advanced jazz ensemble at The Lucy Moses School and an Introduction to Jazz program at Washington Irving High School in New York City, which was sponsored by Bette Midler. The Seattle-based trio, New Stories, has recorded a CD of Hope-Booker's music entitled, Hope Is In the Air.

Bertha Hope-Booker was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 1, 2007.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Bertha Hope's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Bertha Hope lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Bertha Hope describes her mother's dance career, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Bertha Hope describes her mother's dance career, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Bertha Hope describes her mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Bertha Hope describes her father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Bertha Hope remembers her home in Los Angeles, California
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Bertha Hope describes her father's U.S. Army service
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Bertha Hope describes her father's career in show business, pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Bertha Hope describes her father's career in show business, pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Bertha Hope describes her mother's decision to retire from dancing
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Bertha Hope remembers her paternal grandfather
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Bertha Hope describes her mother's role in the community
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Bertha Hope talks about her relationship with her father
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Bertha Hope remembers her family's garden
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Bertha Hope talks about West Coast jazz
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Bertha Hope lists her siblings
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Bertha Hope remembers her chores
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Bertha Hope describes her relationship with her siblings
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Bertha Hope describes the sights, sounds, and smells of her childhood
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Bertha Hope remembers the 36th Street School in Los Angeles, California
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Bertha Hope recalls her early music lessons
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Bertha Hope describes the Westminster Presbyterian Church of Los Angeles
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Bertha Hope recalls her performances at James A. Foshay Junior High School in Los Angeles, California
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Bertha Hope recalls Manual Arts High School in Los Angeles, California
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Bertha Hope remembers the Dunbar Hotel in Los Angeles, California
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Bertha Hope recalls her early work as a pianist in Los Angles, California
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Bertha Hope recalls meeting Marian Anderson and Dinah Washington
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Bertha Hope describes her musical contemporaries in Los Angeles, California
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Bertha Hope recalls her introduction to bebop music
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Bertha Hope talks about her interest in harmonization
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Bertha Hope remembers studying piano under Richie Powell
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Bertha Hope remembers Los Angeles City College in Los Angeles, California
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Bertha Hope recalls her first marriage
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Bertha Hope remembers Eric Dolphy
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Bertha Hope remembers the Clifford Brown and Max Roach Quintet's rehearsals
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Bertha Hope describes the differences between bebop and swing music
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Bertha Hope talks about the emergence of bebop
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Bertha Hope recalls the pioneers of bebop music
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Bertha Hope reflects upon the popularity of bebop music
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Bertha Hope talks about listening to music as a musician
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Bertha Hope remembers Los Angeles City College in Los Angeles, California
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Bertha Hope recalls the discrimination against African American musicians
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Bertha Hope remembers the deaths of Richie Powell and Clifford Brown
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Bertha Hope talks about jazz musicians' classical training
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Bertha Hope describes Johann Sebastian Bach's influence on jazz
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Bertha Hope talks about the emergence of jazz institutions
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Bertha Hope talks about contemporary jazz education
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Bertha Hope remembers meeting her husband, Elmo Hope
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Bertha Hope remembers meeting Elmo Hope
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Bertha Hope describes her fellow musicians' perception of her gender
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Bertha Hope remembers her decision to marry Elmo Hope
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Bertha Hope remembers moving to New York City
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Bertha Hope describes the jazz community in New York City
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Bertha Hope recalls her performances in New York City
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Bertha Hope recalls the prevalence of drug use in New York City
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Bertha Hope reflects upon her move to New York City
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Bertha Hope remembers the effects of her drug use
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Bertha Hope remembers her husband's death
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Bertha Hope describes her efforts to preserve her husband's music
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Bertha Hope remembers teaching in New York City
  • Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Bertha Hope recalls teaching a jazz education workshop
  • Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Bertha Hope reflects upon the healing effects of music
  • Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Slating of Bertha Hope's interview, session 3
  • Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Bertha Hope describes her reasons for moving to New York City
  • Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Bertha Hope talks about her husband's ban from playing on the East Coast
  • Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Bertha Hope describes how she came to work for the American Bell Telephone Company
  • Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Bertha Hope remembers performing with Jeni LeGon
  • Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Bertha Hope talks about the influence of Johann Sebastian Bach's music on jazz
  • Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Bertha Hope describes the history and styles of bebop music
  • Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Bertha Hope recalls her early experiences with jazz music
  • Tape: 9 Story: 9 - Bertha Hope describes her early music lessons
  • Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Bertha Hope talks about the different instruments she played
  • Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Bertha Hope remembers meeting her husband
  • Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Bertha Hope recalls playing with Jimmy Castor and the Johnny Otis Orchestra
  • Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Bertha Hope talks about the gender inequalities in the music industry
  • Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Bertha Hope remembers experiencing sexual harassment within the music industry
  • Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Bertha Hope talks about the differences between the East Coat and West Coast music scenes
  • Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Bertha Hope remembers her husband's drug addiction and death
  • Tape: 10 Story: 8 - Bertha Hope describes the musical style of Elmo Hope
  • Tape: 10 Story: 9 - Bertha Hope recalls her fight with depression following the death of her first husband
  • Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Bertha Hope describes her work at the Goddard Riverside Community Center in New York City
  • Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Bertha Hope remembers performing with the Kit McClure Band
  • Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Bertha Hope talks about the formation of her first band with Cobi Narita
  • Tape: 11 Story: 4 - Bertha Hope remembers Cobi Narita
  • Tape: 11 Story: 5 - Bertha Hope talks about the formation of Jazzberry Jam
  • Tape: 11 Story: 6 - Bertha Hope talks about her second husband, Walter Booker
  • Tape: 11 Story: 7 - Bertha Hope describes the musical career of her second husband, Walter Booker
  • Tape: 11 Story: 8 - Bertha Hope talks about the ELMOllenium project
  • Tape: 12 Story: 1 - Bertha Hope talks about the musical legacy of Elmo Hope
  • Tape: 12 Story: 2 - Bertha Hope describes her solo albums
  • Tape: 12 Story: 3 - Bertha Hope reflects upon the state of jazz music
  • Tape: 12 Story: 4 - Bertha Hope talks about her daughter's career
  • Tape: 12 Story: 5 - Bertha Hope talks about her plans for the future
  • Tape: 12 Story: 6 - Bertha Hope reflects upon her legacy
  • Tape: 12 Story: 7 - Bertha Hope reflects upon her life
  • Tape: 12 Story: 8 - Bertha Hope shares her advice for aspiring musicians