Maxine Gordon

Fiona Ross

Maxine Gordon is an independent scholar with a lifetime career working with Jazz musicians. As an oral historian and archivist in the fields of Jazz and African American cultural history, her book, Sophisticated Giant: The Life and Legacy of Dexter Gordon (University of California Press, 2018) fulfills the promise she made to her late husband, Jazz saxophonist and Academy Award nominated actor Dexter Gordon, to complete his biography.  

She is currently working on her next book, Quartette: Four Women in Jazz, Stories from the Lives of Maxine Sullivan, Velma Middleton, Melba Liston, and Shirley Scott (African Diaspora, Past/Present/Future, Howard University Press and Columbia University Press). The project will give voice to four Jazz musicians who can inspire the future and inform the study of the past. Archival research searching interviews and recordings will be pursued in order to incorporate the artists’ voices in the work.

Recent Book
Quartette: Four Women in Jazz