Hazel Scott playing two pianos at the same damn time with ease
Hazel Scott was a musical sorcerer and a civil rights hero. She:
- was admitted to Julliard at 8.
- was performing in top venues by 16.
- pioneered “swinging the classics” and made the equivalent of a million dollars a year doing it.
- was the first person of color to have their own national TV show.
- went to Hollywood but refused to be cast as a “singing maid.” Demanded and got control over her casting, her wardrobe, and how footage featuring her was cut.
- refused to perform in segregated venues and led charges for integration in several northern cities, notably Spokane.
She was brought down by the House Committee on Unamerican Activities, and has been largely forgotten. But she was a sorcerer, and a hero.