Hazel Dorothy Scott (June 11, 1920 – October 2, 1981) was a jazz and classical pianist and singer.
She was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago on June 11, 1920 and raised in New York City from the age of four. She performed extensively on piano as a child, then trained at the Juilliard School. She appeared in the production Priorities of 1942 and played twice at the famed Carnegie Hall. Her motion picture career included the films Something To Shout About, I Dood It, Broadway Rhythm, The Heat's On, and Rhapsody in Blue.
Watch Hazel Scott perform with Charles Mingus and Rudy Nichols on an archival clip from Night Music, free from Youtube.
She was known for improvising on classical themes and also played bebop, blues, and ballads. She was the first African American woman to have her own television show, The Hazel Scott Show, which premiered on the DuMont Television Network on 3 July 1950. However, she publicly opposed McCarthyism and racial segregation, and the show was cancelled in 1950 when she was accused of being a Communist sympathizer. The last broadcast was 29 September 1950.
Her most successful recording was "Tico Tico." Her album Relaxed Piano Moods, with Charles Mingus and Max Roach, is the album most highly regarded by critics today.
She was married to Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. from 1945 to 1956, by whom she had one child before their divorce.
She died of cancer at the age of 61 on October 2, 1981 in New York City.