The Women in Jazz: Nina Simone, Mary Lou Williams, & Dinah Washington. Their differences in jazz.

All about the ladies

Nina Simone


Nina Simone was primarily known as a jazz and soul singer, but she explored various genres, including blues, gospel, and folk. She was also a prominent civil rights activist and used her music to advocate for racial equality and social justice. Nina Simone was a talented pianist, often accompanying herself during her performances. Some of her popular songs include “Feeling Good,” “I Put a Spell on You,” and “Mississippi Goddam.”

Mary Lou Williams


Mary Lou Williams was a jazz pianist, composer, and arranger, known for her contributions to jazz music, particularly in the swing and bebop eras. She was a highly innovative musician and arranger, with a profound impact on the development of jazz. Mary Lou Williams collaborated with numerous jazz legends, such as Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, and Dizzy Gillespie. She composed several notable jazz pieces, including “Roll ‘Em,” “Zodiac Suite,” and “Mary Lou’s Mass.”

Dinah Washington


Dinah Washington was a renowned jazz and blues singer, often referred to as the “Queen of the Blues.” She had a powerful and emotionally charged voice that made her one of the most distinctive voices in jazz and blues. Dinah Washington was versatile, singing both slow, heartfelt ballads and up-tempo, swinging numbers. Some of her famous songs include “What a Difference a Day Makes,” and “Unforgettable.”

The Similarities between all of these women

All three artists were African American women who made significant contributions to the music industry, particularly in the mid-20th century.

– They each had their own unique vocal and musical styles that set them apart from their contemporaries.

– They faced various challenges and obstacles related to race and gender discrimination during their careers.

– These women had a lasting impact on their respective genres and continue to influence musicians to this day. 

In summary, Nina Simone, Mary Lou Williams, and Dinah Washington were influential figures in the world of music, each with their distinct styles and contributions. While they shared commonalities as African American women musicians who faced societal challenges, their genres, musical talents, and career focuses were notably different.

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