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Sarah Vaughan 1924- 1990 Known as one of the most influential artists in jazz Sarah Lois Vaughan is an unforgettable legend Sarah Vaughan was born March 27 1924 in Newark NJ to Ashbury and Ada Vaughan a carpenter and a laundress Despite their occupations Sarahs parents were also musicians in their spare time Sarahs musical journey began with her parents love for music Influenced by her mother Sarah began taking piano at age seven and organ at age eight Like most African Americans Sarahs musical ability was nurtured and cultivated in the black church The Vaughan family attended the Mount Zion Baptist Church where Sarah was the church organist Sarahs love for music grew stronger during the early years of her life as she listened to artists such as Count Basie and Erskine Hawkins She later attended East Side Music Arts High School in Newark NJ Website A Tribute By the time Sarah was an adolescent she had already began frequenting local clubs and theaters It was at this time that she began to travel to Harlem to frequent the Savoy Ballroom and the Apollo Theatre Contemporary In 1942 Sarah participated in the Apollo Amateur Night Contest in Harlem she sang Body and Soul It was at this time that Billy Eckstine a member of Earl Fatha Hines band discovered her Website Black Achievers By winning the Apollo Amateur Night Sarah was placed into history immediately She had gained an opportunity to join the ranks of performers who preceded her and to make a career out of that opportunity Whitney Balliett describes Sarahs talent in the July 1977 issue of the New Yorker Magazine Her voice which has four octaves and out-classes that of most operatic sopranos came in unequal parts a rich middle section a little-girl high register and a sometimes vulgar an echoing bottom range She uses it like a horn
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