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Vivian Male

Government administrator and jazz singer Vivian Male was born on July 13, 1949 in Boston, Massachusetts to Frances Lesueur Cromwell and Anthony Cromwell. She graduated from Jeremiah E. Burke High School and Boston Business School in Boston, Massachusetts; and went on to study voice at the Elma Lewis School of Fine Arts in Boston. Later, she received her M.Ed. degree in management and administration from Cambridge College in 1980. Male also graduated from the National Judicial College in Reno, Nevada in 1988.

In 1973, Male worked as the special assistant to then U.S. Senator Edward Brooke. In this role, she focused on issues of education. In 1979, Male became the deputy director of the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation; and in 1988, Male was appointed by Governor Michael Dukakis to serve as an administrative judge for workers’ compensation issues in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. From there, Male went on to serve as a senior policy maker for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and as chairperson of the Appeals Board of Unemployment Insurance. In 1991, Male and several other women in Boston, including Callie Crossley, Dianne Wilkerson and Sarah-Ann Shaw, formed the Boston chapter of the Coalition of 100 Black Women. Now known as the Boston Coalition of Black Women, Inc. Male was then named director of equal opportunity operations at the Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency in 1996. In 2000, Male was named director of equal opportunity at MassHousing.

Also, in 2000, Male made her recording debut on the collaborative album Boston Sings Out and later founded Vivian Male Productions through which she produced her music. She also performed at venues like the Berklee College of Music and the Negro Ensemble Company in New York City. In 2009, Male released her debut solo album, Our Day Will Come.

Male served as president of the Middlesex County Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, and was appointed to the board of trustees at Berklee College of Music in 1998. She was also a founding member of the Legacy Society at the Museum of African American History - Boston and Nantucket, and served on the Governor’s Advisory Committee on Women’s Issues. Male continued to perform throughout the Boston area, and was inducted into the Steppin’ Out Hall of Fame in 2007 at the Dimock Health Center alongside singer/songwriter George Benson. She was also a featured vocalist at the New England Emmy Awards, and performed the National Anthem for the New England Patriots several times.

Vivian Male was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 10, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.146

Sex

Female

Interview Date

8/10/2018

Last Name

Male

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widow

Middle Name

C

Organizations
First Name

Vivian

Birth City, State, Country

Boston

HM ID

MAL09

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Massachusetts

Favorite Vacation Destination

St. Maarten

Favorite Quote

Control The Controllables.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Birth Date

7/13/1949

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Martha's Vineyard

Country

United States of America

Favorite Food

Salad

Short Description

Government administrator and jazz singer Vivian Male (1949- ) worked for the Massachusetts state government for over thirty years, in addition to launching a singing career as the founder and president of Vivian Male Productions.

Favorite Color

Sky Blue

Kathleen Bertrand

Jazz singer and nonprofit executive Kathleen Bertrand was born on October 17, 1951 in Atlanta, Georgia to Nan Jackson and William Jackson. Bertrand graduated from Henry W. Grady High School in 1969, and earned her B.S. degree in English from Spelman College in 1973.

From 1974 to 1978, Bertrand worked as Spelman College's director of alumni affairs. In 1983, Bertrand became a membership account executive for the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau (ACVB), a private, non-profit organization. Later, she became the organization’s advertising and membership manager before becoming ACVB’s vice president of membership and community affairs in 1990. In this position, Bertrand launched a number of projects in Atlanta, including: Diversity in the Hospitality Industry Summit, the Hospitality Student Summit and ACVB’s Diversity Marketing Advisory Council. She also developed Atlanta Heritage, an annual visitor’s guide targeted at African American tourists. Bertrand became senior vice president of community and government affairs at ACVB; and in 2007, founded Hospitality Industry Professionals, a networking organization for those of diverse hospitality backgrounds.

An accomplished singer, Bertrand performed at the 1992, 1994 and 1996 Olympic Games. In 1999, she independently released her first jazz album, All of Me. Then, in 2002, she penned the national theme song, “What They See is What They’ll Be” for the 100 Black Men of America, Inc. That same year, Bertrand recorded her second album, No Regrets, which was released by Gold Circle Records, followed by her third album, Reasons for the Season. In 2006, she recorded her fourth album, New Standards. Then, in 2009, Bertrand co-founded the BronzeLens Film Festival of Atlanta. BronzeLens was a founding partner of Ava DuVernay’s African American Film Festival Releasing Movement. Bertrand released her fifth album, Katharsis, in 2011. Bertrand has opened for a number of performers, including: Tony Bennett, Ray Charles, Rachelle Ferrell and Roy Ayers. Additionally, she performed the National Anthem for several of Atlanta’s professional sports teams, as well as for former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

Bertrand served on the Grady Hospitality Academy Industry Advisory Board, the MACOC Education Committee, the Advisory Board for North Atlanta High School Hospitality Program, the Tourism and Hospitality Advisory Committee of Atlanta Technical College, the Black Women’s Film Network, and the Atlanta Community Food Bank. She was recognized as the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Top Hospitality Industry Leader, one of Atlanta’s Top 100 Black Women of Influence by the Atlanta Business League, and as the Most Influential African Americans in the Meetings & Tourism Industry by Black Meetings & Tourism Magazine.

Bertrand and her husband, Andre Bertrand, have four children: Ikechi, Amichi, Chioma, and Chinela.

Kathleen Bertrand was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 3, 2016.

Accession Number

A2016.048

Sex

Female

Interview Date

10/3/2016

Last Name

Bertrand

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

Jackson

Schools

Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School

Henry W. Grady High School

Spelman College

First Name

Kathleen

Birth City, State, Country

Atlanta

HM ID

BER05

Favorite Season

Autumn

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard

Favorite Quote

Do Unto Others As You Would Have Others Do Unto You.$

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

10/17/1951

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Pizza

Short Description

Jazz singer and nonprofit executive Kathleen Bertrand (1952 - ) worked at the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau for thirty-two years. She also released five jazz albums, and penned the national theme song for the 100 Black Men of America, Inc.

Employment

Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau

Various Jobs

Roy Ayers

Spelman College

Favorite Color

Purple

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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Kathleen Bertrand's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Kathleen Bertrand lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Kathleen Bertrand describes her mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Kathleen Bertrand describes her mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Kathleen Bertrand talks about her mother's education

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Kathleen Bertrand describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Kathleen Bertrand talks about her father's career

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Kathleen Bertrand recalls her parents' brief separation

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Kathleen Bertrand lists her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Kathleen Bertrand describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Kathleen Bertrand describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Kathleen Bertrand talks about her religious upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Kathleen Bertrand recalls her early influences

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Kathleen Bertrand remembers competing in the Superteen contest

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Kathleen Bertrand describes her music education at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Kathleen Bertrand recalls her experiences on public transit in Atlanta, Georgia, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Kathleen Bertrand recalls her experiences on public transit in Atlanta, Georgia, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Kathleen Bertrand describes her experiences of discrimination at Henry W. Grady High School in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Kathleen Bertrand remembers her aspiration to attend college

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Kathleen Bertrand describes her college counselor at William H. Grady High School in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Kathleen Bertrand talks about the impact of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Kathleen Bertrand remembers winning the Superteen singing contest

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Kathleen Bertrand remembers turning down a recording contract with Capital Records

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Kathleen Bertrand describes her early aspirations for her career

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Kathleen Bertrand recalls deejaying on WAUC Radio

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Kathleen Bertrand remembers recording commercial jingles

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Kathleen Bertrand remembers learning photography

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Kathleen Bertrand recalls being elected Miss Maroon and White at Spelman College

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Kathleen Bertrand talks about moving to Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Kathleen Bertrand recalls her first winter in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Kathleen Bertrand remembers her roles at the alumnae office of Spelman College

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Kathleen Bertrand describes the impact of Maynard Jackson's mayoralty on Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Kathleen Bertrand talks about the history of Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Kathleen Bertrand describes her work as the director of alumnae affairs at Spelman College

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Kathleen Bertrand talks about her marriage to Andre Bertrand

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Kathleen Bertrand remembers joining Roy Ayers' band

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Kathleen Bertrand remembers touring with Roy Ayers

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Kathleen Bertrand talks about her voice

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Kathleen Bertrand describes the meanings of her children's names

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Kathleen Bertrand remembers her decision to leave Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Kathleen Bertrand recalls living in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Kathleen Bertrand recalls joining the Atlanta Convention and Visitor's Bureau

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Kathleen Bertrand describes her first position at the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Kathleen Bertrand recalls her promotion to advertising manager at the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Kathleen Bertrand talks about the national perception of Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Kathleen Bertrand remembers the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Kathleen Bertrand recalls organizing the Diversity in the Hospitality Industry Summit

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Kathleen Bertrand talks about her student outreach programs

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Kathleen Bertrand recalls the creation of the Atlanta Heritage guide

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Kathleen Bertrand remembers her performances for the Olympics, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Kathleen Bertrand remembers her performances for the Olympics, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Kathleen Bertrand recalls the Centennial Olympic Park bombing in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Kathleen Bertrand describes the highlights of the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Kathleen Bertrand talks about the Olympic facilities in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Kathleen Bertrand remembers releasing her first album, 'All of Me'

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Kathleen Bertrand talks about her second album, 'No Regrets'

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Kathleen Bertrand describes her Christmas album, 'Reasons for the Season'

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Kathleen Bertrand talks about financing her records

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Kathleen Bertrand recalls founding Hospitality Industry Professionals

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Kathleen Bertrand remembers organizing the BronzeLens Film Festival

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Kathleen Bertrand describes the changes to the BronzeLens Film Festival

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Kathleen Bertrand describes the release of her fifth album, 'Katharsis'

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Kathleen Bertrand talks about the inspiration for her song, 'Date Night'

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Kathleen Bertrand recalls writing 'What They See Is What They'll Be'

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Kathleen Bertrand remembers performing with Roy Ayers at the Atlanta Jazz Festival

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Kathleen Bertrand reflects upon her career at the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Kathleen Bertrand recalls performing in Four Women: A Tribute to Nina Simone

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Kathleen Bertrand talks about her use of social media

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Kathleen Bertrand describes her upcoming projects

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Kathleen Bertrand talks about her family

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Kathleen Bertrand describes her concerns for the African American community, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 11 - Kathleen Bertrand describes her concerns for the African American community, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 12 - Kathleen Bertrand reflects upon her legacy

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

5$7

DATitle
Kathleen Bertrand remembers touring with Roy Ayers
Kathleen Bertrand recalls the creation of the Atlanta Heritage guide
Transcript
So you get married in 1980, and you're performing with [HistoryMaker] Roy Ayers sometimes, right? 'Cause your--$$So I performed with Roy before I got married.$$Yeah.$$So when I--$$So you (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) That's why I said, when I came off the road I was no longer with Roy, when I came off the road. So that's why I was kind of opened to this new experience here of this guy from the islands and he's from, Andre's [Andre Bertrand] from St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Although, he was born in Savannah [Georgia] but grew up in St. Thomas. So I was off the road by then. But the road taught me a lot. I felt that I could handle it because I had done all of my traveling with Spelman [Spelman College, Atlanta, Georgia] so that part I had down, I had down better--it was one woman and thirteen guys between the crew and the band and every- and roadies and everything else. There were thirteen of them, of us that would travel. What I didn't have down was being able to take care of myself for long periods of time, so I was sick like the first month and a half, two months. I was literally performing with an inflamed throat or tonsillitis or whatever the case might be. And we had a break in April of that year and I went to Puerto Rico. Didn't know a soul, I just needed to be where there was sun, just needed to be where there was sun. And I went to Puerto Rico and came back, and I was well. Do you know, brand new me. And I felt good, it was like the first time I really felt like I was hearing myself at that time. And then Roy taught me something that I carried into my corporate life for many years, still do, that people pay to come and see a show and that's what they want to see. They don't want to know that you broke your heel, they don't want to know that your luggage didn't arrive on time, they don't want to know that your dress ripped. None of that's important because they came to see the show that they paid their money for, that you're supposed to give them. So what that meant was attitude, everything has to be on top for the show. And we got to that because one of the roadies hadn't taped down the cords from the mic back to the amplifiers, speakers. And, so I came on stage, you know, here is my big entrance and I tripped 'cause I tripped on the cord that wasn't taped down. And, so I was really ticked for the first, you know song or two. And he looked over and saw me and I wasn't smiling and, so we went into this one song, you know, he likes to hit on this cowbell (gesture), and he, you know, leaned over to me and said, "Can I talk to you for a minute?" And we turned our backs to the audience, but he's hitting on the cowbell and we're dancing. And he says, "What's wrong with you?" And I explained what was wrong with me. And he says, "Well, you know, nobody cares. I really don't, and you need to get it together so when you turn around, you need to be smiling," (singing), "because when you're smiling the whole world smiles with you." I promise you, this is the drum playing something totally different, but this is what he's singing. And, so by the time I turn around and life is grand and glorious again, you know. But I kept that lesson for a lifetime, you know. I used to tell my staffers, I said, "Nobody cares if the kid pooped on you before you got to work or you spilled milk in the car, whatever, somebody cut you off. Not my issue because when we have a meeting at nine [o'clock], however, and there's a client here, or a member company has come to visit us then we've got to be in the moment right that minute." And it was good training because many times when I was in my corporate job, I would have at that point dropped four kids off at one--for a year and a half at two different schools. And I've still got to be at an eight o'clock meeting where there's a room full of people waiting to see me because I'm the first speaker for my program. So I would literally walk in the front door, drop my briefcase behind the desk with the receptionist, deep breathe and then you go in and, what'd Bob Fosse say (snaps fingers), "Show time?" And that was it. And that was that--Roy's lesson that was still resonating. It's show time. People paid, or they're here for a (gesture) specific thing, you need to give it to 'em. They don't want stories about how your kid, you know, threw Fruit Loops all over the car and stuff like that. That's not part of the moment. So just that was my Roy Ayers lesson that I learned on the road, and it was a good one, it was a good one (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Okay, I--$The Atlanta Heritage guide that you mentioned came out of a need to have a publication that talked about Atlanta [Georgia] as a destination for African Americans. There was so much history here, so much rich culture here, but it was not being covered in the general publications that promoted Atlanta. And, so it literally started as a typewritten sheet in my desk because the National Dental Association, the president of which was a friend of mine was in Atlanta one summer--I wanna say maybe '88 [1988], '89 [1989], and he came to me--or '90 [1990], and said, "Well, you know, do you have a, a--something that gives people an idea of what's in the African American community and restaurants and things like that?" And I said, "Well, I have this typewritten list that I've compiled myself." Because I kept a list of all of the black restaurants and shops and--just because people would ask that information and I wanted to have it. And I gave that to him, and he copied that for the National Dental Association that summer. And, so then I went to the CEO and I said, "This is embarrassing. Atlanta, Atlanta, home of Martin Luther King [Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.], Maynard Jackson, Andy Young [HistoryMaker Andrew Young], should never be a place that has a typewritten sheet that promotes its African American community."$$Yeah, now this is the point you got the--this major airport [Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Atlanta, Georgia], largest in the U.S. Dr. King, the Dr. King museum.$$The Center for (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) The King Center [Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, Atlanta, Georgia].$$Center, King Center, um-hm.$$These are international attractions, people coming from all over the world.$$Exactly.$$When you go over there, you'll see all kinds of people there.$$Exactly, exactly.$$And they come here so I mean--$$Exactly.$$--so it makes sense.$$You would've agreed, huh?$$Yeah.$$Yes, yes, and, so, and he agreed. He understood, he got it. And, so the--remember I used to be advertising manager. (Cough) Excuse me. So we formed this partnership with the Atlanta Business Chronicle and out of that came a publishing company called Atcomm, A-T-C-O-M-M. And the Atlanta Heritage guide was published through Atcomm Publishing [Atlanta, Georgia], and we published for twenty-five years.

Dianne Reeves

Jazz singer Dianne Reeves was born on October 23, 1956 in Detroit, Michigan. Her father passed away when she was two years old, leaving Reeves to be reared by her mother, Vada Swanson, and maternal family members in Denver, Colorado. Reeves’ uncle, Charles Burrell, was a bassist in the Colorado Symphony who introduced Reeves to jazz. While attending Denver’s George Washington High School, Reeves sang in a big band that performed at the National Association of Jazz Educators’ convention, where Reeves was discovered by her future mentor, jazz trumpeter Clark Terry. After high school, Reeves briefly studied music at the University of Colorado, before moving to Los Angeles, California in 1976.

In Los Angeles, Reeves studied with vocal coach Phil Moore, and performed with Caldera’s Eddie del Barrio, jazz pianist Billy Childs, and her cousin, George Duke. In 1981, Reeves toured internationally with Brazilian musician Sergio Mendes. Her first album, Welcome to My Love was released by Palo Alto Records in 1982. Then, between 1983 and 1986, Reeves toured as a lead vocalist with Harry Belafonte, who introduced her to West African and West Indian rhythms. She signed with Blue Note Records in 1987, and released Dianne Reeves, an album that held the number one spot on contemporary jazz charts for eleven weeks. Reeves released a series of albums with Blue Note, including I Remember, Never Too Far, Art & Survival, Quiet After the Storm, The Grand Encounter, That Day... and Bridges.

Starting in 2001, Reeves received Grammy Awards for Best Jazz Vocal Performance for her consecutive albums, In the Moment -- Live in Concert, The Calling: Celebrating Sarah Vaughn, and A Little Moonlight, produced by Arif Mardin. Reeves appeared as a jazz singer in George Clooney’s historical drama, Good Night, and Good Luck; and recorded the soundtrack for which she received her fourth Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal in 2006. Beautiful Life, produced by Terri Lyne Carrington and released by Concord Records in 2014, featured covers of songs by Bob Marley, Fleetwood Mac and Marvin Gaye, and guest artists such as Esperanza Spalding, Gregory Porter, Lalah Hathaway and Robert Glasper. Reeves received the 2015 Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Performance for the album.

Reeves recorded and performed with Wynton Marsalis, the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and sang as the featured soloist with Sir Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic. Reeves was also the first vocalist to perform at the famed Walt Disney Concert Hall; and she performed at the White House on multiple occasions such as President Barack Obama’s State Dinner for the President of China as well as the Governor’s Ball. Reeves was a recipient of honorary doctorate degrees from the Berklee College of Music and the Julliard School. In 2018, the National Endowment for the Arts designated Reeves a Jazz Master – the highest honor the United States bestows on jazz artists.

Dianne Reeves was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 24, 2016.

Accession Number

A2016.060

Sex

Female

Interview Date

9/24/2016

Last Name

Reeves

Maker Category
Marital Status

Single

Middle Name

Elizabeth

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Cure d'Ars Catholic School

Hamilton Middle School

George Washington High School

University of Colorado Denver

First Name

Dianne

Birth City, State, Country

Detroit

HM ID

REE10

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Michigan

Favorite Vacation Destination

Home

Favorite Quote

Stay Ready So You Don't Have To Get Ready.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Colorado

Birth Date

10/23/1956

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Denver

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Brazilian Style Collard Greens

Short Description

Jazz singer Dianne Reeves (1956 - ) toured as a lead vocalist with Sergio Mendes and Harry Belafonte. She received five Grammy Awards for Best Jazz Vocal Performance.

Employment

Self Employed

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dianne Reeves' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dianne Reeves lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dianne Reeves describes her mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dianne Reeves recalls her maternal grandmother's stories about Quantrill's Raiders

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dianne Reeves describes her mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dianne Reeves describes her mother's childhood in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dianne Reeves recalls her mother's educational experiences

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dianne Reeves describes her mother's siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dianne Reeves describes her father and how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Dianne Reeves describes how she takes after her parents

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Dianne Reeves remembers moving to Denver, Colorado

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Dianne Reeves describes where she lived in Denver, Colorado

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Dianne Reeves describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Dianne Reeves recalls confronting her teacher at Denver's Cure d'Ars Catholic School

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dianne Reeves recalls her final year at Denver's Cure d'Ars Catholic School

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dianne Reeves recalls her transition to Denver's Hamilton Junior High School

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dianne Reeves recalls racial discrimination at Hamilton Junior High School

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dianne Reeves recalls a student-led demonstration at Hamilton Junior High School

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dianne Reeves recalls representing students at a meeting after their protest

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dianne Reeves describes the drug culture at Hamilton Junior High School

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dianne Reeves recalls a choral performance at Hamilton Junior High School

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Dianne Reeves recalls learning songs from her great aunt

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Dianne Reeves describes her early experiences as a singer

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Dianne Reeves talks about Denver's Five Points neighborhood

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Dianne Reeves recalls discovering her vocal talent

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dianne Reeves describes Denver's George Washington High School

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dianne Reeves recalls her early musical experiences in Denver, Colorado

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dianne Reeves remembers her early musical inspirations

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dianne Reeves remembers learning vocal improvisation

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dianne Reeves describes the development of her vocal style, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dianne Reeves remembers meeting trumpeter Clark Terry

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dianne Reeves recalls her early performances with jazz greats

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Dianne Reeves recalls traveling to Europe with her high school choir

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Dianne Reeves remembers meeting Sarah Vaughan

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Dianne Reeves describes the development of her vocal style, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dianne Reeves recalls the influx of jazz music in the 1970s

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dianne Reeves recalls being hired at The Warehouse nightclub in Denver

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dianne Reeves describes the evolution of jazz standards in the 1970s

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dianne Reeves remembers her experiences at The Warehouse nightclub

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dianne Reeves recalls moving from Denver, Colorado to Los Angeles, California

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dianne Reeves recalls joining the Latin jazz group Caldera

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dianne Reeves remembers meeting Billy Childs for the first time

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Dianne Reeves recalls forming the band Night Flight with Billy Childs

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Dianne Reeves recalls her vocal training with jazz artist Phil Moore

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Dianne Reeves talks about the challenges faced by female musicians

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Dianne Reeves recalls joining Sergio Mendes and Brasil '88

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Dianne Reeves describes the impact of her work with Sergio Mendes

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Dianne Reeves remembers touring with Harry Belafonte

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Dianne Reeves recalls her transition to New York City's music scene

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Dianne Reeves describes her early musical experiences in New York City

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Dianne Reeves recalls performing at New York City's Sounds of Brazil nightclub

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Dianne Reeves talks about her cousin, keyboardist and producer George Duke

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Dianne Reeves remembers signing a contract with Blue Note Records

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Dianne Reeves describes the significance of her song, 'Better Days'

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Dianne Reeves remembers singer Phyllis Hyman

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Dianne Reeves describes her response to critical reviews

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Dianne Reeves talks about her album, 'Never Too Far'

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Dianne Reeves recalls the impact of her album, 'Never Too Far,' on her career

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Dianne Reeves talks about the song, 'Fumilayo'

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Dianne Reeves remembers meeting Miles Davis for the first time

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Dianne Reeves recalls Miles Davis' first impression of her voice

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Dianne Reeves describes her preferred method of live performance

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Dianne Reeves reflects upon her identity as a musician

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Dianne Reeves describes the significance of her album, 'Art and Survival'

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Dianne Reeves remembers singer Betty Carter

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Dianne Reeves describes her work with Betty Carter

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Dianne Reeves describes her song, 'The Benediction (Country Preacher)'

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Dianne Reeves recalls the development of her album, 'The Calling'

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Dianne Reeves recalls confronting the arranger of 'The Calling'

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Dianne Reeves describes the live recording of 'The Calling'

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Dianne Reeves talks about the soundtrack to 'Good Night, And Good Luck'

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Dianne Reeves recalls the Nina Simone tribute show 'Sing the Truth!'

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Dianne Reeves talks about singer Angelique Kidjo

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Dianne Reeves describes the second 'Sing the Truth!' tour

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Dianne Reeves describes her performance in 'A Tribute to Abbey Lincoln'

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Dianne Reeves describes her album, 'Beautiful Life'

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Dianne Reeves describes her collaborators on the album, 'Beautiful Life'

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Dianne Reeves talks about her family members

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Dianne Reeves remembers her mother's death

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Dianne Reeves talks about her mentorship projects

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Dianne Reeves talks about collaboration between jazz musicians

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Dianne Reeves talks about popular genres of music

Tape: 8 Story: 10 - Dianne Reeves talks about her works in progress

Tape: 8 Story: 11 - Dianne Reeves lists musicians with whom she would like to collaborate

Tape: 8 Story: 12 - Dianne Reeves describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 8 Story: 13 - Dianne Reeves describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Dianne Reeves narrates her photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Dianne Reeves narrates her photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

9$4

DATitle
Dianne Reeves remembers meeting Sarah Vaughan
Dianne Reeves remembers her experiences at The Warehouse nightclub
Transcript
So, now I'm into my last year of school, of high school [George Washington High School, Denver, Colorado], and there is this opportunity to be a part now of the madrigal group that has switched to the Madrilaires because of the jazz component. I'm still a part of the jazz band and the concert choir and I s- my band [Mellow Moods] is going strong, and I'm doing more gigs with my uncle [HistoryMaker Charles Burrell]. So now I'm really, you know, working, and making a way for myself. A lot of musicians are coming through Denver [Colorado] at the same time whenever Clark [Clark Terry] has things that were near, in states that were nearby. He's inviting me to come and perform with him. Going back to this Wichita Jazz Festival, I started doing the Wichita Jazz Festival and that's where I met, you know, Count Basie. I actually met Sarah Vaughn at that time.$$What was that like, I mean?$$It was, actually we were opening for the Basie, we came on before the Basie band [Count Basie Orchestra], I won't say opening. We were coming on before the Basie band and it was during the time that she was singing with Basie, and I, my little hit thing was the song, 'On a Clear Day.' I had made my own arrangement and Clark was like always cool to, you know, play the things that I came up with and I remember standing on stage and looking to my left and seeing something very sparkly kind of the light hitting a dress. And I'm like, oh, she's out there, you know. And so, I sang every note, and he teased me after, he said you sang every note you knew and that you could reach, and when I got off the stage she came back, and she looked at me she said, "For as long as I live I don't ever want you to open for me again," and then walks off. And all the musicians are cracking up laughing, and, and I'm almost in tears. He's like "No, that was a--," (laughter), you know, "She's telling you she really, really loved it," you know, and I, I thought wow, what a funny way to tell that, and so I'm working with him and I (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) So, so, so her personality just because I guess I don't think we've interviewed anybody that knew Sarah Vaughn. Did you get a chance to know her any better then or--?$$Yes, there's another story (laughter).$$Okay.$So, like I said in this club [The Warehouse, Denver, Colorado] I worked at--downstairs [in the Tool Shed], I had a chaperone. When people would offer to buy me drinks 'cause I always looked older than I was, I would always get the drinks that my sister [Sharon Hill-Washington] and her friends liked and they would send over to the table. So, that was a major thing, then the other thing was at that time also 'Lady Sings the Blues,' 'Mahogany' these movies are out and Diana Ross is giving us fashion and you know like another--we're seeing this kind of color on the, on these films that we've never seen before and these clothes and this way and this attitude and energy and, and I'm making my clothes. So, now you know I'm, I'm going to see her movies like eight times and sketching 'em in my mind, sketching certain things that she has and in--you know going to get Simplicity and Butterick patterns and changing 'em up and trying to make these outfits that she's wearing. So, now I'm flam- like I got this vibe and I come in with hats and capes and you know, (laughter) you know I'm expressing myself and so, no one ever knew what they were gonna see and, and then I went, I had the opportunity not only to sing downstairs but to go upstairs, hear the big acts, and then a lot of the jazz acts when they were upstairs would come down 'cause they knew Gene Harris. So, now there's this other kind of exposure. This one particular time, Ella Fitzgerald was performing there, and I got a chance to go upstairs to see her and she was singing the music of The Beatles which just blew me away because she's swinging their music, and you know at that time everybody's singing 'Yesterday' and you know 'Eleanor Rigby' you know all of those songs and the songs of Simon and Garfunkel. So, you know she's singing The Beatles' songs and I meet her and she's very lovely to me and her, her--now, I'm seeing what happens when a singer you know of this magnitude is here and her wardrobe chests were there and her clothes, shoes everything she's there, you know are there. Her assistant and you know she's--picks what she's gonna sing, what she's gonna walk in, walk on stage with. It was pretty extraordinary and she was very sweet to me and wanted to come down and sit in, only the altitude got to her. So, basically her show had to be canceled for a couple of days and she was supposed to be there for a week, and so they got my uncle [HistoryMaker Charles Burrell], Louise Duncan and asked me to go on and sing some songs in her stead. So, you know now I'm like really you know blown away. So, I go up and sit in her dressing room and she had a pair of periwinkle blue kitten pump, thick kitten pump heels with a round toe and she had very narrow feet and I put my feet in her shoes and I wore her shoes on stage and I sang three or four songs and the band took the rest and then she came back and heard that I had sung and you know was just very, very sweet, and then [HistoryMaker] Nancy Wilson came. She came downstairs and sang. At the time Les McCann you know was like hot and he was there, Mongo Santamaria which prior to my working at this place, my sister had taken me to see him, and he'd come back again, but taken me to see him and Ike [Ike Turner] and Tina Turner. So, now he comes back and now I'm familiar with his music. So, this is a really rich time.

Carmen Lundy

Jazz singer, arranger and composer Carmen Lundy was born on November 1, 1954 in Miami, Florida. Her mother, Oveida, was the lead singer in a gospel group; her younger brother, Curtis Lundy, is a jazz bassist. Inspired by those around her, Lundy began playing the piano at age six, and started singing in her church choir at age twelve. She went on to attend the University of Miami, where she received her B.M. degree in studio music and jazz.

At the age of sixteen, Lundy began her professional career in Miami, then moved to New York City in 1978 where she worked with numerous Jazz veterans. The following year, she made her first appearance on an album with a group called Jasmine; and, in 1980, formed her own group, performing with pianists John Hicks and Onaje Gumbs. In 1985, Lundy released her first solo album, entitled Good Morning Kiss, which remained at the #3 spot on Billboard’s Jazz Chart for twenty-three weeks. Subsequent records included Night and Day, Self Portrait, Old Devil Moon, This Is Carmen Lundy, Jazz and the New Songbook: Live at the Madrid, Come Home, Solamente, Changes, and Soul To Soul, among others. In all, Lundy has released fourteen albums and has published over 100 songs. Her compositions have been recorded by such artists as Kenny Barron, Ernie Watts, Terri Lyne Carrington, and Regina Carter. In addition, Lundy and producer Elisabeth Oei launched the Afrasia Productions music label in 2005.

Lundy has taught master classes throughout the world, including Australia, Denmark, Russia, Japan, Switzerland, New York and Los Angeles, California, and at the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, and for the Betty Carter's Jazz Ahead Program at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. In addition to being a multi-instrumentalist, she has acted and played the lead role in Duke Ellington's Broadway musical, Sophisticated Ladies, and portrayed Billie Holiday in Lawrence Holder's They Were All Gardenias. Lundy is also a mixed media artist and painter, and her works have been exhibited in New York at The Jazz Gallery, and at The Jazz Bakery and Madrid Theatre in Los Angeles, California.

Throughout her career, Lundy’s music has been critically acclaimed by The New York Times, The Village Voice, The Los Angeles Times, Variety, The Washington Post, Jazz Times, Jazziz, Downbeat and Vanity Fair among many others. Miami-Dade County Office of the Mayor and Board of County Commissioners proclaimed January 25th “Carmen Lundy Day” and she received the keys to the City of Miami.

Lundy resides in Los Angeles, California.

Carmen Lundy was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 12, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.256

Sex

Female

Interview Date

11/12/2014

Last Name

Lundy

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Latretta

Occupation
Schools

Frank C. Martin Elementary School

Richmond Heights Middle School

Miami Killian Senior High School

University of Miami

First Name

Carmen

Birth City, State, Country

Miami

HM ID

LUN01

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Florida

Favorite Vacation Destination

Fiji

Favorite Quote

The Good Die Young But The Great Live Forever.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

11/1/1954

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Jazz singer Carmen Lundy (1954 - ) has recorded fourteen albums and published over 100 songs. She has also acted on stage and is an exhibited painter and co-founder of Afrasia Productions.

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Carmen Lundy's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Carmen Lundy lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Carmen Lundy talks about her maternal family ancestry

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Carmen Lundy talks about her maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Carmen Lundy talks about Perrine, Florida and her grandparents' family market, barbershop and recreation center

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Carmen Lundy talks about her mother singing with the Apostolic Singers church choir

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Carmen Lundy describes her mother's background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Carmen Lundy talks about her father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Carmen Lundy talks about her father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Carmen Lundy describes her parents' occupations

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Carmen Lundy talks about her family's reputation and relative wealth in the community of Perrine, Florida

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Carmen Lundy describes which parent she takes after most as well as her mother's character

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Carmen Lundy describesthe family her mother worked for and how that led to piano lessons and attending the University of Miami

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Carmen Lundy remembers visiting her father's second job at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Carmen Lundy describes getting lost when walking home alone

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Carmen Lundy describes her home life and her father's authoritarian parenting style

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Carmen Lundy describes her community in Perrine, Florida

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Carmen Lundy describes her siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Carmen Lundy talks about her experience at Miami Killian High School

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Carmen Lundy talks about her experience in the Miami Killian High School choral program and watching Barbara McNair perform on 'The Ed Sullivan Show'

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Carmen Lundy describes meeting Barbara McNair in Pasadena, California as an adult

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Carmen Lundy describes her introduction to secular music as well as what black people were on television in the 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Carmen Lundy talks about playing piano in the chorus and performing as the duo, Steph and Trett

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Carmen Lundy describes the musical influence of Aretha Franklin, Roberta Flack and others

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Carmen Lundy describes her introduction to jazz music and performing Roberta Flack's, 'Trying Times' in the Miami Killian Senior High School talent show

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Carmen Lundy explains how she she was accepted into the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Carmen Lundy talks about her experience at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida as an opera major

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Carmen Lundy talks about starting a singing group with classmate David Roitstein and singing with Michael and Randy Brecker of The Brecker Brothers

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Carmen Lundy talks about working at the Eden Rock Hotel on Miami Beach

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Carmen Lundy talks about switching from majoring in opera to majoring in jazz

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Carmen Lundy remembers sitting in with Thad Jones and Mel Lewis at the Village Vanguard in New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Carmen Lundy describes the Miami jazz scene in the 1970s

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Carmen Lundy remembers her introduction to Ella Fitzgerald

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Carmen Lundy talks about Stevie Wonder's influence

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Carmen Lundy describes taking class with jazz educator Vince Lawrence Maggio at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Carmen Lundy talks about Billie Holiday's legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Carmen Lundy talks about her introduction to Latin Jazz, Mayra Casales and singing background vocals for Ray Barretto in 1979

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Carmen Lundy remembers her first apartment in New York City and being held at gunpoint by the person who subletted her the apartment

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Carmen Lundy remembers singing Friday nights at Jazzmania her first year in New York City

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Carmen Lundy talks about her relationship with conga player Carlos "Patato" Valdes and percussionist Mayra Casales

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Carmen Lundy talks about playing in a band with jazz pianist Walter Bishop, Jr.

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Carmen Lundy talks about recording her first record, 'Angelica,' with a group called Jasmine

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Carmen Lundy talks about putting a group together and working in New York's Greenwich Village

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Carmen Lundy talks about her relationships with pianists Onaje Allan Gumbs, Harry Whitaker and performing her own compositions

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Carmen Lundy talks about not being able to find work after the release of her first record, 'Good Morning Kiss,' in 1985, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Carmen Lundy talks about recording a demo tape for Columbia Records in 1984

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Carmen Lundy talks about her meeting with Columbia Records and losing her record deal, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Carmen Lundy talks about her meeting with Columbia Records and losing her record deal, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Carmen Lundy talks about the release of her record, 'Good Morning Kiss,' under the independent record label Black Hawk

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Carmen Lundy talks about not being able to find work after the release of her first record, 'Good Morning Kiss,' in 1985, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Carmen Lundy talks about being cast by HistoryMaker Donald McKayle in a European Broadway tour of 'Sophisticated Ladies,'

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Carmen Lundy talks about her return from Europe to New York City in 1989 and recording the record, 'Night and Day,' with Sony Japan in 1986

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Carmen Lundy talks about an article written about her in The Village Voice

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Carmen Lundy remembers performing at Mikell's Jazz Club in New York City and the North Sea Jazz Festival in the Netherlands

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Carmen Lundy talks about being cast in a pilot special for CBS

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Carmen Lundy remembers performing in Los Angeles at The Red Sea and having to fight for compensation, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Carmen Lundy remembers performing in Los Angeles at The Red Sea and having to fight for compensation, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Carmen Lundy talks about becoming a visual artist

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Carmen Lundy talks about the physicality of her performances and how she stays in shape

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Carmen Lundy describes her songwriting process

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Carmen Lundy describes her songwriting process and the inspiration behind her song, 'Quiet Times'

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Carmen Lundy describes writing 'Seventh Heaven,' after pianist Kenny Kirkland's death

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Carmen Lundy talks about the release of her albums, 'Self -Portrait' and 'Old Devil Moon'

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Carmen Lundy talks about Betty Carter's Jazz Ahead Program, pt.1

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Carmen Lundy remembers seeing jazz singer Betty Carter at the North Sea Jazz Festival

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Carmen Lundy talks about Betty Carter's Jazz Ahead Program, pt.2

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Carmen Lundy talks about young jazz musicians

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Carmen Lundy talks briefly about being signed to Justin Time Records

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Carmen Lundy talks about establishing her own label, Afrasia Productions, in 2004 and the release of 'Jazz & The New Songbook Live at the Madrid Theater'

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Carmen Lundy talks briefly about her collaborations with percussionist Mayra Casales and pianist Geri Allen

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Carmen Lundy talks about a lack of appreciation for jazz artist's work, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Carmen Lundy talks about a lack of appreciation for jazz artist's work, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 11 - Carmen Lundy describes her single, 'Grace,' about the transatlantic slave trade with Simphiwe Dana, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 12 - Carmen Lundy describes recording her single, 'Grace,' about the transatlantic slave trade with Simphiwe Dana, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Carmen Lundy describes recording her single, 'Grace,' about the transatlantic slave trade with Simphiwe Dana, pt. 3

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Carmen Lundy talks about the production of her album, 'Soul to Soul' and learning to play the guitar from bassist Chip Jackson

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Carmen Lundy talks about the production of her album, 'Soul to Soul' and artists Patrice Rushen and others

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Carmen Lundy talks about playing the guitar onstage

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Carmen Lundy talks about her upcoming projects

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Carmen Lundy reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Carmen Lundy describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Carmen Lundy talks about her marriage and attitudes toward same-sex marriages

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Carmen Lundy talks about African Americans' current relationship to jazz

Tape: 8 Story: 10 - Carmen Lundy addresses racial prejudice in contemporary America

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Carmen Lundy talks about her mother's approval and her father's disapproval of her career, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Carmen Lundy talks about her mother's approval and her father's disapproval of her career, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Carmen Lundy talks briefly about her work as a visual artist

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Carmen Lundy describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Carmen Lundy narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$7

DAStory

7$12

DATitle
Carmen Lundy remembers singing Friday nights at Jazzmania her first year in New York City
Carmen Lundy describes recording her single, 'Grace,' about the transatlantic slave trade with Simphiwe Dana, pt. 2
Transcript
So now, this piano that I moved into in New York City [New York], follows me to every place I lived, until I left and moved to Los Angeles [California], that same piano, okay. So, that's the upside of the story, that's the upside. (Laughter)$$It's a roller coaster story, yeah.$$But anyway, we used to live--so now this is before all of this happens. We're like--Mayra [Casales] and I knew that the deal was that you've got to go out and hang out. So, two beautiful things happened to me while in my first year in New York, beautiful things. One, I got a gig singing every Friday and Saturday night with some of the greatest jazz musicians alive at that time in New York City. There was a club called Jazzmania on, the address was 14 23rd Street, Park Avenue South. And it was a loft, and you had to take five unforgivably long, steep, flights to get up to this loft. Mayra would schlep her conga drums up there, and I'd schlep myself with my charts, you know. So, the reason why I was able to be this lucky was because my friend, Bill Morgenstern, who I didn't mention to you, who mentored me all those years in Miami--the art dealer, jazz fanatic, historian, who was also a ballet dancer and loved the theater, and was originally from Brooklyn, New York--Bill Morgenstern had a brother, Mike [ph.], who had a jazz club called Jazzmania. And my best friend, Bill, called his brother and said, "My girl, Carmen, is coming to New York, and you've got to make sure she gets something. Do something, do something with her." He would say, "Do something for her," like that. So I got this little gig singing every Friday, fifty dollars, it was a fifty dollar gig. There's still fifty dollar gigs to this day in New York. I just can't believe it, but there are. Fifty dollars, I go in there. And there would be, one night there would be somebody like Jaki Byard. The next week it would be Walter Bishop, Jr. The next week, it would be Michael Carvin. The next week it would be Ronnie Mathews. The next week it would be Don Pullen. The next week it would be Kenny Barron, you know. And it was just on and on and on, these great musicians--Charlie Persip on drums. What, what! Stafford James on bass. Rashid--I mean it was so much--it would be-- John Hicks on piano. So, every weekend he would book different artists. I still have the newspaper articles. I still have the newspaper articles of all these people that I sang with. I did it for an entire year, for fifty-two weeks I sang every weekend with some great jazz pianist. Joe, what his name, Joe Carroll. Joe Carroll was a wonderful singer. A lot of people don't know about Joe Carroll, but he was a great--Eddie Jefferson, another great singer would come through. I sang with Al Harewood, who recorded with Betty Carter. Al Harewood was a left-handed drummer, so his right--you know, but his right cymbal would--most times as a singer, you're kind of hearing this, you know. But his right cymbal was over here. Interesting stuff. But that was my gig for an entire year, which is how I met Walter Bishop, Jr., which is how I ended up recording on one of his recordings. I sang this tune called, 'Valley Land,' and that's funny to me, even now, because Valley Land is about L.A., and I didn't know what L.A. was. L.A., you might as well have been telling me, you might as well be saying to me East Cabibia [ph.], I did not know. So, that was my first year.$So, something came up. "Well, you must do something together. You guys need to do something together." So I said, "Well, come into my studio. I'll show you my studio and show you what I'm working on." So, I started pulling all these tunes. And stupid me, I picked the most rhythmic things, because I'm thinking that would be the thing that she's [Simphiwe Dana]--I mean that was just so ignorant of me to do. So, I'm thinking--and then I thought, "And there's this tune that has been driving me nuts, I've got to play it for you. But before I play it for you, I just want to tell you what my inspiration is. My inspiration is that I did some research on the history of the hymn, and learned a great deal more about how this hymn came to be. And in doing so, I realized that John Newton was a slave trader," and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, right? I'm telling them the whole thing. And she, after I tell her this story--because who doesn't know that hymn, right? So, she went, "I didn't know that." And then she says, "Do you have a pen and paper I can borrow from you?" So then she starts writing. "Where do you press record? Where do you press record?" She starts singing, and the levels--I mean, she's a little lady, lovely, tiny, little lady. And she started singing, and my levels went through the roof. "Wait, hold on, hold on. Wait, let me set these levels." So, she begins to sing, and then suddenly there's something, "We have walked for so long with our heads to the ground. We have died for so long with our heads under the boot (speaking Xhosa)." I don't know what she was saying, but I know it was Zulu or something, right.$$The Xhosa language.$$Xhosa language.$$Xhosa?$$Yes. So, she sings her little ditty, and I sing right into that, right? So, whatever she did, I just followed it up--something that had never even occurred to me melodically and lyrically; it just came out. And we got it on tape, we got the whole thing on tape. So, now we're so excited, you know, Elisabeth [Oie] comes in and Lupie [ph.] comes in, "Listen to what we've got." Elisabeth says, "Oh, my." So, I'm so excited, and she's so excited that this is--because now I realize she's singing from the South African perspective, and I'm singing from the African American perspective about this point in time in our history as a people. Wow, wow.

Ernie Mae Miller

Ernest Mae Miller was born on February 7, 1927 to Lizzie Anderson Crafton and Otto Henry Crafton in Austin, Texas. Miller is the granddaughter of L.C. Anderson who was born into slavery, attended Fisk University, and became the third President of Prairie View Normal and Industrial College, the forerunner of Prairie View A & M University, succeeding his brother E.H. Anderson. Her grandfather would later become the principal of his namesake school, L.C. Anderson High School in Austin, Texas from 1886 to 1920. Miller graduated from this high school in 1944 at age fourteen.

Miller began playing the piano by ear after listening to her grandmother’s records on the family victrola. She was discovered to be musically gifted by the time she was five years old. After graduating from high school, Miller attended Prairie View A & M University where she was invited to play the baritone saxophone with the Prairie View Co-Ed Jazz Band.

The Prairie View Co-Eds were one of several African American all-girl bands that were popular with African American audiences in the mid-1940s. Miller traveled with the sixteen-piece band that performed for servicemen at army camps and forts all over the United States. The Prairie View Co-Eds performed in Tuskegee, Alabama on the same show with Bob Hope, Vaughn Monroe, and Anita O’Day in New York City and at the Plantation Club in St. Louis with Billie Holliday. Miller began her solo career as a jazz pianist and vocalist. She has played for most of the prominent hotels, events and exclusive parties in the Austin community. Miller was the featured performer for fifteen years at the Old New Orleans Club in Austin.

Though the Prairie View Co-Eds were never recorded and omitted from jazz and swing history, Miller has recorded two albums both titled Ernie Mae at the Old New Orleans Club and her career spanned over forty years. Ernest Mae Miller died on December 9, 2010 after battling a long illness. She was 83 years old.

Ernie Mae Miller was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 7, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.051

Sex

Female

Interview Date

2/7/2007

Last Name

Miller

Maker Category
Middle Name

Mae

Organizations
Schools

Olive Street School

L.C. Anderson High School

Prairie View A&M University

Theodore Kealing Middle School

First Name

Ernest

Birth City, State, Country

Austin

HM ID

MIL04

Favorite Season

Winter

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

If You Want To Hear Me Play, Call Ernie Mae.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

2/7/1927

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Austin

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Meatloaf

Death Date

12/9/2010

Short Description

Jazz singer and jazz musician Ernie Mae Miller (1927 - 2010 ) began her solo career as a jazz pianist and vocalist after performing with an all girl band during World War II. She played for most of the prominent hotels, events and exclusive parties in the Austin, Texas community. Miller was the featured performer for fifteen years at the Old New Orleans Club in Austin.

Employment

New Orleans Club

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Ernie Mae Miller's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Ernie Mae Miller lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Ernie Mae Miller describes her mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Ernie Mae Miller describes her mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Ernie Mae Miller describes her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Ernie Mae Miller describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Ernie Mae Miller talks about her sisters

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Ernie Mae Miller describes her early interest in music

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Ernie Mae Miller describes her neighborhood in Austin, Texas, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Ernie Mae Miller describes her maternal great-great-grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Ernie Mae Miller describes the Olive Street School in Austin, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Ernie Mae Miller describes her neighborhood in Austin, Texas, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Ernie Mae Miller recalls her teachers at Olive Street School in Austin, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Ernie Mae Miller remembers her childhood piano teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Ernie Mae Miller remembers Olive Street Elementary School in Austin, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Ernie Mae Miller remembers playing in the L.C. Anderson High School band

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Ernie Mae Miller describes Ebenezer Baptist Church in Austin, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Ernie Mae Miller describes her experiences in the Prairie View Co-eds band

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Ernie Mae Miller describes her childhood during the Great Depression

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Ernie Mae Miller remembers travelling with the Prairie View Co-eds band

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Ernie Mae Miller describes her grandfather and the Prairie View Co-eds

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Ernie Mae Miller remembers performing at the Apollo Theater in New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Ernie Mae Miller recalls the members of the Prairie View Co-eds band

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Ernie Mae Miller describes her husbands and sons

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Ernie Mae Miller remembers her nightclub career in Austin, Texas, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Ernie Mae Miller remembers her nightclub career in Austin, Texas, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Ernie Mae Miller recalls recording two albums at The Old New Orleans Club in Austin, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Ernie Mae Miller talks about her signature songs

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Ernie Mae Miller recalls performing with bands in Austin, Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Ernie Mae Miller describes her performances in Austin's senior centers

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Ernie Mae Miller remembers meeting Billie Holiday and other jazz singers

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Ernie Mae Miller remembers performing for President Lyndon Baines Johnson

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Ernie Mae Miller remembers playing for politician J.J. Pickle

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Ernie Mae Miller reflects upon her life

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Ernie Mae Miller shares her advice for aspiring musicians

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Ernie Mae Miller talks about her musical arrangements

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Ernie Mae Miller describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Ernie Mae Miller narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$3

DAStory

8$5

DATitle
Ernie Mae Miller describes her early interest in music
Ernie Mae Miller remembers her nightclub career in Austin, Texas, pt. 1
Transcript
Now tell me about when you were elementary school age and you're living now in Austin [Texas] with your [maternal] grandparents (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Grandparents, yes.$$Tell me about that?$$Well, my grandfather [L.C. Anderson] was principal of the Anderson High School [E.H. Anderson High School; L.C. Anderson High School, Austin, Texas] here and I remember, I remember, and I have a picture where I was standing under a little kid umbrella and he had, had me come over there, I was always playing the piano, I don't know, I guess I was just, my grandmother [Fannie Pollard Anderson] used to play the piano and all and so he had me come over there and play one day in the, in chapel and they had, and I think the song I played was, "Peter Peter pumpkin eater (laughter), had a wife and couldn't keep her, put her in a pumpkin shell, and there he kept her very well," and I think, there were two things and I got a big applause and that was also but, I think I was about five years old and they took a picture of me doing that. I have the picture here but, and they thought it was real nice that I would do that but I never was, I never had stage fright in my life, you know. So I was just a little girl and I ran on over to, they had such a grand and played this song for them, and that's--$$How did you learn to play the piano?$$I really started playing the piano, I used to listen to my, my grandmother had an old Victrola that you'd wind up and she had a lot of records and I would just play those records over and over and over and wind the Victrola and sometimes fall asleep on the Victrola and, but I had a good ear and I would go in the living room, we had a piano and I'm going, in a little bit and I started picking that out, I guess by ear, I'm sure it was by ear and then they decided to give me music lessons and so from then on I just kept on improving and a lot of times, a lot of times now, if I can have the sheet music, I read it but it sounds so mechanical, it's not me to just have to play everything that was written on that sheet music. I, I would change it in a way and put some of Ernie Mae [HistoryMaker Ernie Mae Miller] in it and it seemed like it passed melody (laughter) and I played it like it was from the way and I'd say, "Well, Mom [Lizzie Anderson Crafton], everybody plays it the way it's supposed to be, so, but I play it the way I liked it," and really it paid off 'cause all my life I had played piano. I used to play at Sunday school and then there were a, there was a pastor, Reverend C.E. Whitaker [ph.], that was at the Methodist church at Wesley Chapel Methodist Church [Austin, Texas] and he used to take me when I was a little girl to their little conferences that they would have around and towns and small towns here in Texas and he'd have me play and I think at one I sang 'Jesus Loves Me' and they, all the people at church just started, I was just a little girl, but I just really did love playing piano and still do and whenever I get, oh, whenever I get kind of upset or something, I go sit on the piano and it seems like the words just float right out the window and, you know, I was good about word about things, I'd go over and play and it tranquilizes me, okay.$$Now, you said your grandfather was the principal at the high school?$$Right.$$Do you remember the name of the high school?$$It was L.C., it was Anderson High School then--$$Okay.$$--but it was named for his brother [E.H. Anderson] first and after his brother had died and my grandfather took over the principal of the school, well Mr. McCallum [Arthur Newell McCallum, Sr.] who was superintendent of schools here in Austin, changed it to L.C. Anderson and so the new Anderson on Mesa Drive now, is really integrated and one of the best schools here in Austin, best high school and it was named for him, Laurine Cecil Anderson, and they have his picture in the library out there.$So after you marry--$$Hammitt.$$--Hammitt Miller, and you're out of Prairie View [Prairie View University; Prairie View A&M University, Prairie View, Texas], do you, are you at home with your children or--$$Yeah, my (simultaneous)--$$--(Simultaneous) do you begin to--$$My husband worked in the daytime and I worked at night.$$Okay.$$I was playing, I'd start playing the piano, you know, in clubs and I mean I kept very busy. I'd work sometimes seven nights a week and then other times I did maybe six nights, five nights or something like that but that's when I really worked in nearly every, well in every hotel here in Austin [Texas] at the time and, and different clubs and they were all, you know, integrated about that time, you know, so I had, and--$$Do you remember the first integrated club that you played?$$The first, the first club I played was called Dinty Moore's [Austin, Texas] and it was on West 6th Street here in Austin and they had a, the piano was way in the back of the room, it was a long room there and one, I was playing and I looked up on top of the piano, it was a straight old upright piano and there was a rat sitting up there (laughter). Oh, it frightened me a little, the dead rat sat there and crossed his leg, listening to me play (laughter). It wasn't really a rat though, you know, but I was a little frightened. They got him out of there (laughter). I guess the music charmed him or something, I don't know. So, if I can charm a rat, I guess I can do pretty good.$$What did you--$$So that was really a funny thing.$$When, what year did you start playing in the clubs?$$In the clubs, '49 [1949].$$Okay, so that was right after you had your, gotten married?$$Yeah.$$Okay, all right.$$And so I played at the Driskill Hotel [Austin, Texas], the Sheraton Hotel, the Hilton Hotel, the Hyatt Regency hotel (laughter) and all the main hotels and they had me playing solo piano, you know, and singing and I had a lot of fans and one day I was playing, well, I didn't do this at most of the big hotels and thing but there was a little song called, 'Ice Man,' it was a marvelous song like and so one lady in there, she jumped and said, "Why you shock my modesty," you know, it was just a kind a little funny song with, you know, little, had a little life to it, you know, "You shock my modesty," she said that in front of, and one man in the audience said, "Oh you shut up, you have slept with the president," I don't know if I can say. She stormed on out the door and everybody almost fell out of their seats laughing. Then the, because it was right funny but she just said I had shocked her modesty but it wasn't that bad of a song, it was just funny, you know. And I did, and so I started singing a lot of little songs like that, one called, 'I'm A Woman,' that Peggy Lee did, and I don't know who wrote the song but I got ahold of it and, and it, right now, people say, play 'I'm A Woman,' you know, W-O-M-A-N, and so I used to, I still play that song and the crowd enjoys it but it wasn't nothing like what they do now like they get on the stage and do all that shaking and doing all, well, you know, that, those little songs weren't vulgar, they were just a little bit suggestive, you know, but, that's, but when this lady told me that and then she stormed on out the door 'cause the man had told her, "I know where you slept last," you know, something like that and she stormed out and that was kind of, I didn't laugh, I was (laughter), it was just, it was real funny.

Geraldine de Haas

Geraldine de Haas, “The Jazz Lady,” was born in Newark, New Jersey on January 16, 1935. As a young woman, de Haas sang and toured with her brother and sister as Andy and the Bey Sisters, initially starting out in the Miami club scene in 1958. When they returned to New York after several months, they went to several auditions that promised them a few weeks of club dates in Spain and London. However, their music proved wildly popular, and they went on a whirlwind tour all across Europe that lasted a year and a half.

While the trio was in Europe, they became the featured act at the world famous Blue Note in Paris, and were featured in a jazz film directed by Roger Vadim. De Haas and her siblings returned to the United States in 1960, and began performing at jazz clubs and festivals across the country, and made several recordings, as well. The trio finally disbanded in 1966. The early 1970s found de Haas joining the Free Street Theater in Chicago, and her theater career continued over the next two decades, with performances in Hair, Showboat and To Be Young, Gifted and Black, and numerous jazz performances, as well. She also began producing events during the 1970s, and in 1983, she presented the first Jazzfest at the South Shore Cultural Center in Chicago, which continues on to this day. De Haas also earned her B.A. in music education in 1980 from Chicago State University, and has taken other courses to continue her education since.

In 1981, de Haas founded Jazz Unites, Inc., to further the growth and appreciation of jazz, and to educate people through the use of jazz. Since 1993, she has served as the president, CEO and artistic director. Over the course of her career, she has shared the stage with such jazz legends as Count Basie, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, and her favorite, the late bass player Ray Brown.

De Haas is married to Edgar de Haas, a prominent jazz musician in his own right. They have two children, both of whom are artists.

Accession Number

A2004.115

Sex

Female

Interview Date

7/30/2004

Last Name

de Haas

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Newton St

West Side High

Chicago State University

First Name

Geraldine

Birth City, State, Country

Newark

HM ID

DEH01

Favorite Season

Fall

State

New Jersey

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

Do The Best You Can And Then Some.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

1/16/1935

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Mother's Cooking

Short Description

Nonprofit chief executive and jazz singer Geraldine de Haas (1935 - ) is the founder, president and CEO of Jazz Unites, Inc., dedicated to the growth and appreciation of jazz, and educating people through the use of jazz. de Haas is also the founder of the popular Jazzfest at the South Shore Cultural Center in Chicago.

Employment

Jazz Unites, Inc.

Favorite Color

Green

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Geraldine de Haas' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Geraldine de Haas lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Geraldine de Haas describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Geraldine de Haas lists her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Geraldine de Haas describes her mother's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Geraldine de Haas talks about her father

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Geraldine de Haas talks about her father's involvement with The Moorish Science Temple of America

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Geraldine de Haas speculates about how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Geraldine de Haas recalls her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Geraldine de Haas describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Newark, New Jersey

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Geraldine de Haas talks about her family's religious beliefs and practices

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Geraldine de Haas describes her father's influence on her and her siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Geraldine de Haas describes herself as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Geraldine de Haas talks about her love of opera and jazz music

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Geraldine de Haas describes her interest in classical music

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Geraldine de Haas talks about her favorite and least favorite school subjects

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Geraldine de Haas recalls her experience at West Side High School in Newark, New Jersey

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Geraldine de Haas talks about her experience studying music at Chicago State University in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Geraldine de Haas remembers her siblings' musical performances and joining Andy and the Bey Sisters in 1957

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Geraldine de Haas recalls Andy and The Bey Sisters' early appearances in Miami, Florida and a subsequent tour of Spain in 1958

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Geraldine de Haas recalls her early experiences and travels as part of the musical group, Andy and the Bey Sisters

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Geraldine de Haas recalls meeting celebrities, including Marlon Brando, when Andy and the Bey Sisters toured Paris, France

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Geraldine de Haas remembers an encounter with Marlon Brando

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Geraldine de Haas recalls Andy and the Bey Sisters' appearance in the movie 'Paris Jazz Jam Session' and their shows after their 1958 European tour

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Geraldine de Haas describes a star-studded dinner party at Gail Buckley's home

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Geraldine de Haas remembers Thelonious Monk

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Geraldine de Haas remembers drummer Max Roach

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Geraldine de Haas talks about getting married in 1961 and its effect on her musical career

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Geraldine de Haas describes her husband, Edgar "Eddie" de Haas

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Geraldine de Haas recalls Chicago, Illinois in the 1970s

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Geraldine de Haas remembers saving the South Shore Cultural Center in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Geraldine de Haas talks about coordinating the 1974 Tribute to Duke Ellington concert in Grant Park, Chicago, Illinois, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Geraldine de Haas talks the 1974 Tribute to Duke Ellington concert in Grant Park, Chicago, Illinois, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Geraldine de Haas talks about the influence of the Tribute to Duke Ellington in Chicago, Illinois in 1974

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Geraldine de Haas talks about founding Jazz Unites, Inc. in 1981 and her work on the South Shore Jazz Festival in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Geraldine de Haas talks about the importance of the government in music programming

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Geraldine de Haas describes how jazz unites people

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Geraldine de Haas talks about her time working with the Illinois Arts Council

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Geraldine de Haas talks about her time with the Free Street Theater

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Geraldine de Haas names notable artists that have appeared at the South Shore Cultural Center over the years

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Geraldine de Haas describes her hopes for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Geraldine de Haas talks about her children's artistic endeavors

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Geraldine de Haas considers what she would do differently

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Geraldine de Haas reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Geraldine de Haas describes her parents' feelings about her success and changes for African Americans in the entertainment industry

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Geraldine de Haas talks about how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Geraldine de Haas narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

8$4

DATitle
Geraldine de Haas remembers her siblings' musical performances and joining Andy and the Bey Sisters in 1957
Geraldine de Haas talks about coordinating the 1974 Tribute to Duke Ellington concert in Grant Park, Chicago, Illinois, pt. 1
Transcript
Let me go back to high school [West Side High School, Newark, New Jersey] though for a minute. We've got--we've jumped over a whole lot of stuff to get to Chicago State [University, Chicago, Illinois], but we'll--$$Okay.$$We'll remember this, but we'll go--let's go back to high school, and when--did you start performing when you were in high school?$$You mean singing--$$--Yes, singing--$$--at, at high--yes, I did a lot of singing in high school.$$Did you sing in the school chorus and that sort of thing?$$Yeah, I was part of the choir and all that and I did solos of all kinds, and when they had different plays and things of that type, I was at all of those things. So when you read my, you know, the book that you get, you know, you got your book where everybody signs and makes--$$A yearbook--$$--the yearbook, it's--I was known as The Songbird. They called me The Songbird at--and it was, some of the things that were just wonderful that they said about me. I couldn't believe it, you know, the way they talked about me. And even though I never really tried to do--you know how some people feel they have to try to be friends to everybody and have to fit in with everything and all those kinds of things? Well, that was never my thing, really. You know, I felt I had my sisters and brothers and that was enough for me.$$Okay. Now did, did you--when did--maybe I'm getting ahead of myself, but when you--were you performing with Andy [Andrew W. Bey] and your sister [Salome Bey] before you left high school or was that--$$--No, I was--$$--was that after high school?$$--No, I wasn't performing with them. They were the performers in the family. Salome was--$$So, Salome was--$$--was performing as an individual and Andy was performing.$$And what, what, what kind of music were they performing basically?$$Well, Andy was performing--he was like the Billy Eckstine of Newark, New Jersey. When he grew up and began to sing, he had his own show. He, he did a show in New York every week. He had a weekly television show, and that television show also featured Connie Francis, but Connie Francis was more contemporary signing; Andy was more into jazz, but he had his own weekly show. And, and, and that's why people thought he was much older than what he--you know, much older at that time because he sang with such maturity and played piano, and he was really our star, you know, the star of Newark, New Jersey, and the star of our family, of course.$$Okay. Now--and, and your sister, you said she was a Ruth Brown of Newark?$$She loved Ruth Brown. She used to sing the Ruth Brown music and, and, and sang more blues oriented things with Salome. And the thing about it is, when I finally joined them, they--here--here's the difference between my brother and sister and me, is that they used to catch trains and buses and all of that to get to where they had to work or perform, and I know one time when I traveled with them, I said, this is ridiculous. I said, we need a car. We have to get a car. Of course, no one could drive, but when I started going out with them and trying to, you know, be with them and, and work and sing with them, I had to learn how to drive. So I was the first one in my family of nine people to learn how to drive, and, and that way, it made sense for us to have--you know, 'cause we used to do a lot of performance in New York or parts of New Jersey that, you know, were pretty far, and, and, and to take buses and trains, I said, this is ridiculous and we would be carryin' our clothes on our arms. I said, no, this, this 'aint workin'. I said, we gotta get a car. So I learned to drive, and once I learned to drive, then everybody began to learn how to drive in my family. But I broke that ice of, you know, trying to deal with public transportation and bags, and this and that. You know, I said, we have to--we have to get a car.$$Yeah, that, that makes sense, yeah. It does make sense. Now when did you start singing with them? When, when was it, and how old were you?$$I used to be so nervous when I had to sing with them. I never wanted to sing alone. I never wanted to do anything and I always--I really fully relied on Andy and Salome to help me through when we were singing as a trio [as Andy and The Bey Sisters] because I was just too nervous. And I think--I thought I didn't have the wherewithal to sing jazz. I mean, you just don't get on the stage singing jazz because you want to. You know, it's a development you--and you really have to work your way through it. And I really didn't get into the full understanding of the art form and felt free enough to really do a lot of things until I began to work here in the City of Chicago [Illinois] and singing on my own, you know, gettin' up out there by myself, having to take the stand and do what I'm supposed to do. But that came with time. It really came with a lot of time because I couldn't do it on my own for a long time.$$Now what, what year--do you remember when you actually started with them?$$Well, we started working in 1957.$Now before--let's go back some more because we didn't tell the full story--$$About the--$$--of the jazz concert in Grant Park [Chicago, Illinois].$$Right. Well in 1974, in May of 1974, you know that Duke Ellington died, and people all over the universe were paying tribute to Duke Ellington. And I think Muhal [Richard Abrams] had called a gathering of people.$$That's Richard Abrams.$$That's Richard Abrams--Muhal, called a bunch of musicians and we met somewhere I think--that was before I was even involved. 'Cause it was Muhal who called these musicians together and I really couldn't do that 'cause I really didn't know them all. And they were talkin' about doing a tribute to Duke Ellington. So when they--and, and I guess they were in discussions at least once or twice before he called me in, and he said, you wanna come to this meeting because we're talkin' about doin' a tribute to Duke Ellington. So when I got there, they started talkin' about this and that and that, and I said, this is wonderful because, you know, people all over the world are doin' a tribute to Duke and we--I'm definitely happy about being involved with paying tribute to Duke Ellington. Because as you know, as an artist, we do a lot of his music and he's one of the greatest composers in the world, so we should do something to him. So anyway, when they kept talkin' and, and then they decided that they were going to do it in Washington Park [Chicago, Illinois], and I said well, you know, Washington Park is wonderful, but as you know, Duke Ellington was a very worldly person, I said, and if you're gonna do a tribute to this world musician, this classical artist, you need to get the main park. So they said yeah right, if you can get that park, we'll do it there. So I said, well, you know, I'm willing to try to see. So I started writing letters to the Chicago Park District and they ran me around like a chicken without a head. They told me you have to write this one, you have to write that one. I almost had to write the janitor to see if I could get the place, and they--what--you know, tellin' me all these things to do and which I did, and--but the thing about it is, I never--you know, they--we were talkin' about doin' this, but a group of us, they never gave me any money for what we call letterhead, and at that time, I didn't know what letterhead meant. I really didn't know. I was just a singing artist and I didn't know what any of that stuff meant, so I was writing to the park district on anything I can find, the hotel stuff that we got when Andy and The Bey Sisters was travelin' and every time, they would get something with a different heading from me or after a while, it was just plain scrap paper that went out to them requesting a this and a that. And I--so when--we kept doin' this and I was goin' on and on and on, and as I told you, I used to work with a lot of civic groups, (unclear) for retarded children, it was at one of those meetings that someone said, you know, I know a guy that was, his name was Oscar [S.] Williams. You remember him, he was the head of some bank on the South Side [Chicago, Illinois]. He said, "I got--"$$Right, I've heard of him, right.$$"I got a very good friend that--who might be able to help you," and that's when he talked about [HistoryMaker] Commissioner [John H.] Stroger [Jr.].$$