Jazzy Women Take the Stage

Nina Simone

In the 1960s, as the civil-rights movement and other cultural changes gained momentum, a generation of women artists made their way through a jazz world that had long been less than hospitable to their aims. 

This special program will air Thursday night, March 5 at 9 pm.

Singers such as Nina Simone and Jeanne Lee, composer Carla Bley, organist Shirley Scott, harpist Dorothy Ashby and fellow harpist and pianist Alice Coltrane, and trumpeter Barbara Donald all left behind notable recordings from this decade as they expanded the role of women in jazz in ways both traditional and groundbreaking. 

“Jazz Women of the 1960s” offers a musical survey of these artists, including Nina Simone’s civil-rights anthem “Young, Gifted and Black,” Alice Coltrane’s Eastern-religion-inspired “Huntington Ashram Monastery,” Jeanne Lee’s take on an Ellington classic, and an early interpretation of Carla Bley’s jazz standard “Ida Lupino.”