Billie Holiday at 100

In A Different Mood
Billie Holiday at 100
An International Jazz Day Homage


Billie Holiday Photo by William Gottlieb

A concert on International Jazz Day (Thursday 30 April) in the Edward Boyle Auditorium, Jacqueline du Pré Music Building, St.Hilda’s College, Oxford, to celebrate the centenary of the birth of a true legend.

A Phenomenal Woman! Billie Holiday – born Eleanora Fagan on April 7, 1915 – is an outstanding, iconic figure in the history of Jazz! Coming just before Ella Fitzgerald and Lena Horne, and well before Sarah Vaughan, Betty Carter et al, Lady Day evoked grace and a style with its own distinctive tone in the company of recognised virtuoso players who brought to the stage the very elements which we now use to describe the essence of memorable art – the honing of craft, truth, presence, intimacy and great innovation! Cool pre-dating the Birth of the Cool!

Lady Day defined the role of the singer in modern Jazz! And, as an African-American woman in apartheid America, confronted the indignities and injustices which she knew to be the constitutionally-sanctioned daily reality! The super-inflated egos of some of her successors who now step into the same spotlight to perform on stage would gain mightily by familiarising themselves with this historical epoch! They aim to stand on mighty shoulders.

The Jacqueline du Pré Music Building acknowledges the supreme achievement of another world-class artiste who did not live to see her talent fully realised. It happens to be sited in the first university to be established in the British Isles specifically for female scholars. It is therefore of great significance to the ethos – expressed by UNESCO and the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz to describe International Jazz Day – that such an iconic presence as that of the music of Lady Day will feature within the walls of this prestigious institution.

Carroll Thompson has established herself as the quintessential singer of Lovers Rock, but for this special occasion, alongside Jean Toussaint, tenor and soprano saxophonist and former Musical Director of the late Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, she has chosen to present the songs of Billie Holiday which best evoke the spirit of Lady Day! Kate Williams on piano, Neville Malcolm on double bass and Winston Clifford on drums complete the line-up of the UK’s finest. To open the evening, the Liberty Gospel Ensemble will introduce their beautiful vocal harmonies to a fine setting!

*Admission: £22.50 (Concessions: £10.00 – Limited availability to Students with valid NUS ID!)

Tickets: Buy Online
(Subject to Booking Fee!)

@ Edward Boyle Auditorium
Jacqueline du Pré Music Building
St. Hilda’s College
Cowley Place
Oxford OX4 1DY

Taste of the Tropics will have delicious Caribbean Cuisine on Sale!
Roots ‘n’ Culture will have Books and Cultural Gifts on Sale!

There is a special expression of gratitude to our Title Sponsors


whose support has been critical to realising the enterprise.

Contact: Ra Hendricks – Jazzmo’thology
Mobile: 07931 263 617

Billie Holiday Website:
International Jazz Day Website:
Jacqueline du Pré Music Building:

African Odysseys @ British Film Institute will be showing the live stream of the UNESCO IJD concert taking place at 6.30p.m. on the 30th in Paris and headlined by Herbie Hancock, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Dianne Reeves et al! Admission is Free