Jimmy Scott, aka “Little” Jimmy Scott, is an American jazz vocalist famous for his unusually high contralto voice which is due to Kallmann’s syndrome, a very rare genetic condition.
Jimmy Scott’s career has spanned sixty five years. He has performed with a list of artists that reads like a history of jazz music of the time, including Charlie Parker, Sarah Vaughan, Lester Young, Lionel Hampton, Charles Mingus, Fats Navarro, Quincey Jones, Bud Powell, Ray Charles, Wynton Marsalis, and Peter Cincotti. He has also performed with a host of musicians from other genres of music, such as David Byrne, Lou Reed, Flea, Michael Stipe, and Antony & The Johnsons. Scott performed at President Dwight Eisenhower’s (1953) and President Bill Clinton’s (1993) inaugurations where he sang the same song “Why Was I Born”. Most recently he has appeared in live performances with Pink Martini, and continues to perform internationally at music festivals and at his own concerts.
In 2007, Scott received the 2007 NEA Jazz Masters National Endowment of the Arts Jazz Master Award. Scott also received the Kennedy Center’s “Jazz In Our Time” Living Legend Award, and N.A.B.O.B.’s Pioneer Award in 2007. In September 2008 he did a “two-day video interview” at his Vegas home with the “Smithsonian Institute for the National Archives.”