Dorothy Donegan – Episode 21


On this episode of the Chiaroscuro Podcast, we feature Dorothy Donegan, known for her virtuosic playing, incorporating and often mixing classical and stride styles

About Dorothy Donegan

She was also known for her showmanship in live settings, and though she recorded through the 1950s into the 1980s, she  was known more for being a live performer. In the 1990s, Chiaroscuro recorded Dorothy Donegan three times, all in performance the Floating Jazz Festivals from 1990 to 1992.

Born in Chicago, she proved to be something of a prodigy at early age, and studied classical music, which would remain a passion throughout her life. In the 1940s, she became a protege of the great pianist Art Tatum, and in 1943 was the first African American to perform at Chicago’s Orchestra hall, doing a program that included Rachmaninoff and Grieg in the first half, and jazz in the second. That musical dichotomy was one of her trademarks.

About The Chiaroscuro Podcast

Chiaroscuro Director of Artistry & Repertoire George Graham produces and hosts The Chiaroscuro Podcast. Explore the works of other Chiaroscuro performers in our Artists Section. Check out other episodes of the Chiaroscuro Podcast here