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Rhoda Scott

Born in Dorothy, New Jersey on July 3, 1938, Rhoda Scott is a soul and jazz organist. The daughter of a minister, she became interested in the organ at the age of seven. A year later, she would perform Gospels at her father’s church. Her nickname, the Barefoot Lady, stems from these early days when she would perform in bare feet, a tradition she has continued throughout her career. Even though she was self-taught, she expanded her musical education by attending Westminster Choir College (Princeton, New Jersey) and the Manhattan School of Music (New York). Armed with a Master of Music degree, she continued her studies at the American Conservatory of Fontainebleau in France. Discovered by Count Basie, she performed at his club in Harlem. Convinced to move to Paris, France by producer Eddie Barclay and Raoul Saint-Yves, she began performing at the Bilboquet club in July 1968. Although Rhoda Scott had released her first two albums in the early 1960s, she came to prominence with  A L’Orgue Hammond, in 1969. Rhoda Scott followed that debut with two more volumes of A L’Orgue Hammond - Vol. 2 (1970) and Vol. 3: Come Bach to Me (1971). Blending classical, jazz, and soul, Rhoda Scott soon became an international star, recording with Thad Jones and Mel Lewis in 1975 and Kenny Clarke two years later. Her run of albums included many more volumes in the A L’Orgue Hammond series as well as albums such as Molybdenum (1979), Frame For the Blues (1992), Alone (1997), and many more. In 2004, Rhoda Scott formed the all-female Lady Quartet and took the project on tour and released the albums Live at the Sunset, Paris (2009) and We Free Queens (2017). Rhoda Scott worked with choral groups over the years, which reflected her roots when she began playing in her father’s church. In 2018, she was promoted to the title of Commandeur in the Order of Arts and Letters, an honorary decoration in France. At the age of 83, she released the album Lady All Stars (2021), which expanded upon her Lady Quartet concept and featured an all-female group of musicians.


©Copyright Music Story Stephen Schnee 2022
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Discography

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