Australian jazz legend Wilma Reading, a contemporary of Duke Ellington and Oscar Peterson, sings highlights from her dazzling international career, as part of the Sydney International Womens Jazz Festival 2019. This is a rare chance to see a legend in action.
Cairns-born Indigenous singer Wilma Reading set the standard for Australian jazz on the international stage, showcasing her impressive three octave range and veteran stagecraft alongside the most renowned musicians of the sixties and seventies. Scouted by Duke Ellington and his orchestra, Reading was signed up for a full-time position in the band, playing with the famous bandleader at the Copacabana Club in New York, later appearing on the Johnny Carson TV show and rubbing shoulders with giants of jazz and US luminaries Ella Fitzgerald, Carmen McRae, Tony Bennett and Dave Brubeck. This was the beginning of an illustrious international career that took her around the world performing and working in film and that recently saw her inducted into the National Indigenous Music Awards Hall of Fame.