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Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, Billie Holliday, Peggy Lee, and the list goes on. They are some of the most influential, legendary, and celebrated jazz divas in jazz history who were all great and brought so much to the forefront of the growth of jazz, oppressions and all of the other struggles that back in the day present to women in their struggles.

Our program “A Tribute to Great Jazz Divas” was established in 2016 as an annual community event to kick off the pre-holiday spirit of Thanksgiving and Christmas.  It also serves as one of those programs that Valley Arts presents to raise a portion of funds to support the Valley Arts Music Scholarship Program.

We invite local, regional and touring female vocalist to perform and transform themselves into the great powerful singers of yesterday.  The program is held annually at any one of the Huntsville City, County, or other surrounding community venues. A Tribute to Great Jazz Divas programming gives not only the talented females vocalist in the surrounding Tennessee Valley an opportunity to shine, but are also accompanied by some of the best local jazz bands, and quartets in the area.

Sign up for 2018  Auditions

An opportunity to audition for this great show opens in early September.  Vocalists must be committed, a team player, have integrity and a great love for the music and the artist that they will portray in the tribute, be able to capture and project stage presence, take direction and instruction from the band, and  must also study the life and career of the jazz diva that they are selected to portray.

Female vocalist can submit their information now to audition for the 2017 “A Tribute to Great Jazz Divas”

Must be a performing vocalist
Submit name of jazz legend that they would like to portray.


We presented our first “A Tribute to Great Jazz Divas” pre-Holiday concert this past November 2016.  It was a sensational concert where some of the best female vocalists in the Tennessee Valley paid tribute to celebrated female jazz divas from the 1800s forward. – Valley Arts and Entertainment presented this production as an Alabama Women in Jazz event at (AAA) Academy for Academics and Arts in Huntsville, Alabama. The evening welcomed the community of Huntsville and surrounding Tennessee Valley from as far as Albertville and Arab.  The jazz divas portrayed were Bessie Smith, Ruth Brown, Billie Holiday, Dinah Washington, Betty Carter, Sarah Vaughan, Nina Simone, and Etta James.  This evening was filled with traditional jazz, great melodies, and soulful legendary sound of these great women in music.

It was also a festive evening of great music highlighted compositions and lyrics of Berlin, Gershwin, Anderson, and Ellington …just to name a few.  Whether musicians are backing musicians or guest performers, it was a musical collaboration with HSO (Huntsville Symphony Orchestra).  The Devere Pride Trio was the Divas Musicians.

Queens of Jazz: The Joy and Pain of the Divas

We invite you to get on our mailing list and stayed informed for this great production.