Jazzwomen Makin’ Waves n’ Breakin’ Free ~ The International Sweethearts of Rhythm ~The Female Side of Sax

Women Saxophone Players

Women Saxophone Players

The International Sweethearts of Rhythm challenged and changed the face and gender of Jazz by being the first integrated all women’s band in the United States. During the 1940s the band featured some of the best female musicians of the day. They played swing and jazz on a national circuit that included the Apollo Theater in New York City, the Regal Theater in Chicago, and the Howard Theater in Washington, DC  After a performance in Chicago in 1943, the Chicago Defender announced the band was, “One of the hottest stage shows that ever raised the roof of the theater!” More recently, they have been labeled “the most prominent and probably best female aggregation of the Big Band era.”  During feminist movements of the 1960s and 1970s in America, the International Sweethearts of Rhythm regained a significant amount of popularity, particularly with feminist writers and musicologists who challenged chauvinism and racial bias making their goal to re-write history that changed the discourse  and timbre of this American art form ~Jazz fighting for equality and diversity by including men and women musicians from multicultural and multiethnic backgrounds. Courtesy of Wikipedia.

The Line Up for The International Sweethearts of Rhythm

              Anna Mae Winburn – Band leader, singer, piano, guitar

              Clora Bryant – Trumpet and vocalist

              Evelyn McGee – Vocalist

              Pauline Braddy – Drums

              Selma Lee Williams – Tenor saxophone

              Vi Burnside – Tenor saxophone

              Rosalind Roz Cron – Alto saxophone

              Willie Mae Wong – Baritone saxophone

              Helen Saine – baritone and alto saxophone

              Irene Grishan – Tenor saxophone

              Ione Grishan – Alto saxophone

              Ernestine “Tiny” Davis – Trumpet

              Helen Jones – Trombone

              Carline Ray – Double bass

              Lucille Dixon Robertson – Double bass

              Toby Butler – Trumpet

              Edna Williams – Trumpet, arranger

              Eddie Durham – Arranger

              Jesse Stone – Arranger

              Johnnie Mae Rice

As a tribute to Women’s History month in March, I am doing a series entitled Jazzwomen Makin’ Waves n’ Breakin’ Free    This post is the second post of the series.  We’ve only just begun…Peace Out!  JBC 8-)

Copyright © 2011-2014 by Jannat Marie/Jazzybeatchick. All rights Reserved.

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  1. #1 by skywalkerstoryteller on February 2, 2014 - 12:35 am

    WOW! Had never heard of them before – in all of the black music and jazz lovers I was around! They were really good – I’m going to watch the documentary with them too when they’re all older. Thanks for sharing this.


    • #2 by Jazzybeatchick on February 2, 2014 - 6:37 am

      Welcome. I love Research! You never know what you might uncover. Best Wishes, JBC-)


  2. #3 by Let's CUT the Crap! on January 29, 2014 - 1:29 pm

    What can one say to this? Bravo. Awesome. Wonderful. ;-)


    • #4 by Jazzybeatchick on January 29, 2014 - 1:35 pm

      Thank you very much. I appreciate your feedback and comments. JBC 8-)


      • #5 by Let's CUT the Crap! on January 29, 2014 - 3:38 pm

        Lots of times, maybe 50% I’m stuck for words because I’m not familiar but I go by my gut and old memories. :-)


      • #6 by Jazzybeatchick on January 30, 2014 - 6:54 am

        Sometimes that’s what all of us can rely on. Sometimes it is the reality of what is happening to you and beyond your control. So I try to find a new pulse that works in my life. Thanks for your comment! JBC 8-)


      • #7 by Let's CUT the Crap! on January 30, 2014 - 1:42 pm

        I enjoy your blog. ;-)


      • #8 by Jazzybeatchick on January 30, 2014 - 1:56 pm

        Thank you! I look forward to your comments JBC 8-)


      • #9 by Let's CUT the Crap! on January 30, 2014 - 3:03 pm

        Anytime. ;-)


  3. #10 by sherayx on January 29, 2014 - 11:19 am

    Reblogged this on SherayxWeblog.


  4. #11 by Kirtley writes on January 29, 2014 - 7:38 am

    Thank you so much: again chock full of information.


    • #12 by Jazzybeatchick on January 29, 2014 - 1:34 pm

      You are very welcome. Thanks for the comment. JBC 8-)



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