First Woman to Play in “Big Bands” Dies

Jazz composer and trombone play Melba Liston died last Friday at age 73.

Liston is famed as the first woman musician in the “big bands.” Liston’s long and accomplished career included collaborations with musical giants including Dizzy Gillespie, Billie Holiday, and Quincy Jones.

Liston toured several continents with several performance groups and recorded several albums with pianist Randy Weston including “Blues in America,” “High Life,” and “Spirits of Our Ancestors.”

Health problems brought Liston’s career as a composer to a close in 1985, but she remained a prolific composer until her death.


AFP - April 28, 1999

Support eh ERA banner