Top Female Jazz Artists – The Politics Behind the Music
Certain top female jazz artists have used their voice and forum to weigh in on political and social debates over the years.
When you consider that many, if not most, of the leading jazz artists over time have been black women, one of the most marginalised of all groups in the United States, it is not surprising that they tended to use their art form to propel their political causes.
Top Female Jazz Artists and Activists
- Nina Simone – She was one of the most vocal jazz sings in the civil rights movement and even lived away from the US for a long time as a protest against treatment of black people and racial minorities.
- Billie Holiday – Her song “Strange Fruit” taken from a poem of the same name condemned American racism and in particular dealt with lynchings.
- Abby Lincoln – Was one of the 50′s and 60′s top female jazz artists who was very vocal about social activitism issues in the 1960s and sometimes her professional life suffered because of it making it difficult to find work.
- Ma Rainey – A feminist who was one of the first commercially successful female jazz artists, her lyrics were often about female sexual empowerment at a time when this was taboo.
The top female jazz artists over the years have often used their fame to shine the spotlight on important social and political issues.
Without the sass these top female jazz artists displayed the American landscape would probably not have changed as it did in the first half of the first half of the 20th century.
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