Dorothy Donegan

Dorothy Donegan, April 6, 1924 – May 19, 1998 was a classically trained jazz pianist best known for her performances in the stride and boogie woogie styles. She was also a skilled performer of swing, bop, and classical music. Her flamboyant personality, ability to mix different genres at the same time, and willingness to play lounge music might have led to her being undervalued by jazz circles. Donegan was raised in Chicago, Illinois. She began classical piano lessons at the age of six. She studied at Chicago Musical College in her early years and was soon recognized for her talent. She was Art Tatum’s protegee in the 1940s and made her first recording debut in 1942. Sensations of 1945 featured her with Gene Rodgers, Cab Calloway and W. C. Fields. She was also known for her work at Chicago nightclubs. In 1945 she formed a trio, but later returned to solo work. After this, she expressed an interest in classical music again. When compared to her live performances, her first six albums were a bit obscure. Her work was not recognized in the jazz world until the 1980s, but her 1991 live albums gained the most attention. She was still best known for her live performances and concerts. With her unique mix of styles and personality, she was a popular performer at these events. In 1998, she died from cancer in Los Angeles. She was also inducted into both the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame that year. Text contributed by users is available under Creative Commons By–SA License. It may also be available under GNU FDL.

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