Hammond Festival

Rhoda Scott

PizzaExpress Jazz Club (Soho)

Rhoda Scott is one of the first female instrumentalists to make her mark on the jazz scene, which is still predominantly male. Living myth of the Hammond organ, she has played with the greatest : Count Basie, George Benson, Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles… Settled in France since the end of the 1960s, the "barefoot organist" created the Lady Quartet in 2004 to celebrate and affirm the place of women in jazz. Various strong figures of the French scene participated in this variable geometry ensemble: Sophie Alour (tenor saxophone), Lisa Cat-Berro (alto saxophone), Julie Saury (drums), Airelle Besson (flugelhorn, trumpet), Géraldine Laurent (alto saxophone), Anne Paceo (drums) and Céline Bonacina (baritone saxophone). The Lady Quartet toured jazz clubs for several years and recorded We Free Queens in 2008, an album that appealed to a wide audience.


Book tickets for Rhoda Scott

Rhoda Scott, born in 1938 in Dorothy, New Jersey, U.S.A., is the daughter of an itinerant minister, and she grew up in the tradition of small African-American churches. It is while accompanying the Gospels and Negro Spirituals at the age of 8, that her exceptional musical talent was revealed.

Although self-taught, she was determined to perfect her musical education, and after attending Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey, she entered Manhattan School of Music in New York, where she was awarded the Borden Prize for the highest academic average, and obtained her Master of Music degree in 1967.

She came to France for the first time in July 1967 to study counterpoint, harmony, and composition at the American Conservatory of Beaux Arts in Fontainebleau, with the great Nadia Boulanger, who had also taught, among others, Aaron Copeland, Pierre Henry, Phillip Glass, and also Quincy Jones.