Born: September 20, 1928 Primary Instrument: Sax, alto
An accomplished altoist and vocalist, Vi Redd's impressive music career has flourished for over four decades. A veteran who has performed with everyone from Dizzy Gillespie and Count Basie to Rahsaan Roland Kirk and Marian McPartland, she has been acknowledged far too rarely for the sterling qualities of her music.
From her performances with the legendary Count Basie to her personal friendship with the late Sarah Vaughn, Ms. Redd is well-known and well-respected within the annals of jazz. Daughter of New Orleans jazz drummer and Clef Club co-founder, Alton Redd, Vi Redd was born in Los Angeles and was deeply influenced during her formative years by her father who was one of the paramount figures on the Central Avenue jazz scene. Another dominant musical mentor was her aunt, Elma Hightower, one of the most sought after music teachers in the Los Angeles area during the same time. Under her aunt's watchful eye and guidance, Ms. Redd picked up the saxophone as a child and hasn't put it down since.
Redd is a Cal State LA graduate, and went on to earn a teaching certificate from USC. She relocated to Berkeley, CA during the 60's and 70's and taught as a classroom teacher for many years, upon returning to Los Angeles.
Vi Redd is certainly one of the more elusive figures in jazz, which has only added to her appeal which for collectors is based on her two excellent efforts as leader “Bird Call,” (’63) and her most prominent from 1965 “Lady Soul.”
Source: James Nadal