Sarah Vaughan

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Vaughan, Sarah

(Sarah Lois Vaughan), 1924–90, American jazz singer, b. Newark, N.J. Nicknamed "Sassie" and "the divine one," she studied piano and organ, began singing in her church choir, and won (1942) the famous amateur contest at Harlem's Apollo Theater. Subsequently, she sang with bands led by Earl "Fatha" HinesHines, Earl "Fatha"
(Earl Kenneth Hines) , 1903–83, American jazz pianist, b. Duquesne, Pa. The son of musicians, he played jazz piano in big bands as a young man and in 1927 joined Louis Armstrong's quintet in Chicago.
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, Billy Eckstine, and John Kirby. During this period she was also associated with Dizzy GillespieGillespie, Dizzy
(John Birks Gillespie) , 1917–93, American jazz musician and composer, b. Cheraw, S.C. He began to play the trumpet at 15 and later studied harmony and theory at Laurinburg Institute, N.C. He played with the bands of Cab Calloway and Billy Eckstine.
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 and Charlie ParkerParker, Charlie "Bird"
(Charles Christopher Parker, Jr.), 1920–55, American musician and composer, b. Kansas City, Kans. He began playing alto saxophone in 1933 and, shifting from one band to another, eventually met Dizzy Gillespie in New York City.
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, learning much from their bebop horn stylings. From 1947 on, Vaughan worked as a soloist, becoming one of jazz's finest vocalists. An alto who moved easily from honeyed to harsh, from bass notes to soaring highs, she had a four-octave range and finely controlled vibrato. Vaughan was acclaimed for her performance of such songs as "Lover Man," "It's Magic," and "Misty." An active recording artist from the mid-1940s on, she frequently (1950s–80s) toured the United States and Europe.


See biographies by L. Gourse (1993), M. Ruuth (1994), and E. M. Hayes (2017); discography by D. Brown (1991).

Vaughan, Sarah (Lois)

(1924–90) jazz vocalist; born in Newark, N.J. She began singing in church, won an Apollo Theatre talent contest in 1942, and was featured with Earl Hines from 1944 to 1945. Influenced by bebop and possessing operatic range, she emerged as an original stylist by the late 1940s and established a solo career as an internationally acclaimed artist thereafter.