Lena Horne is one of the most popular African-American jazz legend singers. She was born in 1917 Lena Mary Calhoun Horne in New York City. She performed with the greatest jazz musicians such as Duke Ellington and Artie Shaw. She lives in New York City today and does not appear in the public eye anymore. Lena is most famous for the movie Stormy Weather, in which she sung the title song, in the 1940's. Contrary to how music careers usually begin, Lena grew up in an elite family. She lived in a black bourgeois area in Brooklyn, New York.

Her father Edwin Horne left them when she was three-years-old. Her mother Edna Scottron, daughter of an inventor, was an actress with a black theater group and traveled a lot. Lena's grandparents raised her. Though, she was said to have been a part of the Black elite, racial discrimination still existed. Lena Horne and her friend Paul Robeson embarked on a lifelong effort to fight for Civil Rights.

In fact, she took the civil rights movement so seriously to the point of rejecting the offer to perform to a segregated audience or to an audience where the black people were there only to serve white people. Lena Horne was apart of the March on Washington just for the purpose of receiving well-deserved treatment equal to the privileged white people. In addition, Lena Horne committed herself to speaking along with performing for the NAACP, National Council For Negro Women and to assist former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt in passing the anti-lynching law in America's Congress.

Even with all those serious concerns she still found time to become one of the most memorable Jazz singers in history. She performed at the café society, a club imitating the European cabarets to show the talent of undiscovered African American which led to the success of Lena Horne, Paul Robeson, Big Joe Turner, Ella Fitzgerald, Lester Young, Hazel Scott, Sarah Vaughn, Josh White, Pete Johnson and Mary Lou Williams.

From 1947 to 1971 Lena Horne remarried again to a Jewish man Lennie Hayton a musical conductor and arranger for MGM studios later to admit in her autobiography titled "Lena" by author Richard Schickel that she married him to help her career. Nevertheless, the interracial couple as always had to face pressures same race couples do not, but she stayed with him until he passed away. Lena Horne was in several Broadway musicals, and won a 1958 award for her performance in the calypso titled "Jamaica". Lena Horne won a Tony Award For her one woman show titled "Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music".

In her success, she has to her credit one of the longest solo performances in history to run more than the usual record time. Lena Horne in great modesty did not accept a lot of musical projects, yet agreed upon a recording with Frank Sinatra and Quincy Jones as producer which did not happen. However, Lena Horne worked on a solo recording that featured duets with Sammy Davis, and Joe Williams titled "The Men In My Life" in the year 1988. The next year she won a Grammy Life Time Achievement Award to add to her list of credits of success she mastered in her career. In her eighties she continued to record albums titled 1994 "We'll Be Together Again", 1995 Live album that won her a Grammy for the Best Vocal Jazz Album. 1998"Being Myself". Finally, she had the chance to sing on an album with Frank Sinatra to the song "Embraceable You".

In 2000 she recorded another album to lend her voice to a "Classic Ellington" recording. Lena Horne is a member of the sorority Delta Sigma Theta and has been on the label Blue Note Records since 1995.

In 2005 ,Oprah Winfrey stated that she may to ask singer/musician Alicia Keys to play the part of Lena Horne in a movie.


The Art of Jazz dance is an amalgamation of different styles of dance that began between 1800's, and the middle of the 1900's rooted in African American movement. One man known for this type of dance was the star of vaudeville Joe Frisco around 1910 who danced in a unrestrained fashion in close vicinity to the ground while tossing his cigar, and derby in a juggling manner. The Jazz dance style up to the middle of 1950's was Tap dance which was always performed with Jazz music such as the Jitterbug, Swing, Boogie Woogie, Lindy Hop, and the Charleston. Katherine Dunham is renowned choreographer and dancer studied the cultural dances of Caribbean in Haiti, Jamaica, Trinidad, Tobago, Martinique and Shango making this African American dance a modern work of pure art.

She took this style to Hollywood and Broadway who embraced a more refined Jazz dance. Modern Jazz Dance is a smooth style of dance roots from Tap, Ballet and Jazz music which is performed in many musicals from the Pajama Game to Cabaret to Chicago to music videos and the Las Vegas showgirl performances. The usual technique for Jazz dance is that of a ballet dancer for balance and strength from doing slow movements. In contrast the typical Jazz dance has sharp movements, but the skills of ballet smoothes it down into a refined style.

Moreover, Jazz dance is such a versatile style that it can be combined with other dances from lyrical, contemporary and hip hop. Jazz dance like Jazz music can be combined with other dance styles to enhance the dance to another level. For instance, The United Kingdom witness a new movement of dancers in the 1980's who danced when the Jazz, and Funk music clubs was becoming unpopular known as Street Fusion Jazz Dance. Due to the new modern music scene, new groups who longed to keep the tradition of Jazz dance, and still leave room for the new styles.

There are two groups known for street fusion jazz dance known as IDJ ( I Dance Jazz), Brother in Jazz and Jazz Cotech. Famous people of the world of Jazz dance is Fred Astaire, Jerome Robbins, Jack Cole, and Bob Fosse. In the world of Jazz Dance there are terms people use to describe various dance movement.

Jazz Dance Terms:

Ad lib, Axel Turn, Ball Change, Barrel Jump, Barrel Turn, Bounce, Cake Walk, Cat walk, Catch Step, Chasse`, Coffee Grinder, Contract, Curve Or Arch, Dolphin, Drop and Recover, Fall, Fall Over The Log, Fan Kick, Figure 8, Flick, Flick Kick, Freeze, Funk, Head-Roll, Hinge, Hip Walk, Hip-Fall, Hip-Roll, Hitch Kick, Hop, Jazz Drag, Jazz Run, Jazz Split, Jazz Square, Jazz Walk, Jump Over The Log, Kick, Knee Fall, Knee Slide, Knee Turn, Lay Out, Limbo, Mess Around, Moonwalk, Pencil Turn, Pitch, Pivot Step, Primitive Squat, Release, Ripple, Shimmie, Shiver, Shoulder Fall, Shoulder Roll, Sissonne Fall, Skate, Snake, Snap, Spins, Spiral, Stag Leap, Step, Switch, Table Top, Tilt, Touch, Tripplettes, Turns, Twists, and the Worm.