Lady be Good: Instrumental Women in Jazz

  • Directed by Kay Ray
  • United States/Seattle, 2013, 80 mins.

The International Sweethearts of Rhythm. The Syncoettes. Carol Kaye. The substantial contributions of woman to jazz music have been largely ignored by history, but their significant role is one that can no longer be denied. Lady be Good reveals the lost stories of female jazz musicians from the early 1920s to the 1970s. Ray’s proud film charts the influence of female players from the struggles and successes of early innovators (Sweet Emma Barrett, Lil Hardin- Armstrong), through the rise of the all-woman big bands (Ina Ray Hutton & Her Melodears, the Hollywood Redheads), to the female musicians that were instrumental players (Dorothy Donegan, Mary Osborne) and arrangers (Mary Lou Williams, Melba Liston) for more famous male band leaders, including Benny Goodman and Quincy Jones.

Genres: Documentary, Music