Three Outstanding Jazz Female Singers

Listening to jazz music is first on our list of things to do every day. Of course, we want to listen to the best groups, jazz bands and performers, both traditional jazz and contemporary jazz.

But most of the time, we find one that always attract everyone: the female voices of jazz. Each one owns her own style. The pioneers knew how to impose themselves in a world that was dominated by male musicians. At present, female jazz singers freely express their art, and that gives us the opportunity to meet and enjoy outstanding artists.

Jazz female singers in brief

At the beginning of jazz history it was not easy to cultivate love for this incipient musical genre, as well as to be a musician and try to live from it. The impediments were not only economic, there was a strong social condemnation to this lifestyle, and even racial problems, especially in the United States, where the great history of jazz developed. Within this cultural and social field, there was a group of women who managed to impose themselves based on tenacity and, above all, an extraordinary musical talent, among them, we rescued these women’s traditional jazz singers.

Ella Fitzgerald

She was endowed with a voice with a vocal range of three octaves, with an extraordinary capacity for improvisation, especially in scat, a technique she developed in the forties and which announced the emergence of the bop. Listed as one of the best female singers of traditional jazz, Ella Fitzgerald’s musical repertoire is so wide that she has entered the styles of swing, blues, bossa nova, samba, gospel, calypso, Christmas songs and many more. Undoubtedly, she is one of the most influential singers of the 20th century. Ella Fitzgerald’s best-known songs are Mack the Knife (Louis Armstrong), A night in Tunisia (Ella Fitzgerald), Dream a little dream of me (Ella & Louis) and Summertime (Ella & Louis).

Ella Fitzgerald
Ella Fitzgerald

Billie Holiday

If we look for the most visceral, sentimental and passionate side of a jazz singer, Billie Holiday is the absolute example. Endowed with a talent for interpretation and an attractive personality, she was able to impose herself and remain in the history of jazz as one of the great female voices. The letters of his interpretations were identified with his life experiences, and with those of thousands of people, added to his way of interpretation, it is the most remarkable characteristic of his art. Strange Fruit is her universal success, and the one that made her immortal.

Sarah Vaughan

The particularity of this female jazz singer is that she was one of the first singers to incorporate the phrasing of bebop to her vocal style, which put her in the orbit of musicians such as Charlie Parker or Dizzy Gillespie. His voice had a wide register, highlighting his serious tones, which gave him his own style. Mean To Me and Black Coffee are two of his great jazz songs that remain in our ears.