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The International Sweethearts of Rhythm was the first integrated all-women's band in the United States. During the 1940s the band featured some of the best female musicians of the day. They played swing and jazz on a national circuit that included the Apollo Theater in New York City, the Regal Theater in Chicago, and the Howard Theater in Washington, D.C. After a performance in Chicago in 1943, the Chicago Defender announced the band was "one of the hottest stage shows that ever raised the roof of the theater!" They have been labeled "the most prominent and probably best female aggregation of the Big Band era". During feminist movements of the 1960s and 1970s in America, the International Sweethearts of Rhythm became popular with feminist writers and musicologists who made it their goal to change the discourse on the history of jazz to include both men and women musicians. Flutist Antoinette Handy was one scholar who documented the story of these female musicians of color.
International Sweethearts of Rhythm
|Also known as||Sweethearts of Rhythm|
|Origin||Piney Woods, Mississippi, U.S.|
|Years active||1937 (1937)–1949 (1949)|
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