Ella Fitzgerald

Joni Mitchell

Billie Holiday

What women rock your world?


Adele? Rihanna? Esperanza Spaulding? Women are now the top-grossing recording artists, but it wasn’t always this way.

Find out how we got here in this concert with singer Celia Slattery. She takes you on a fun and inspiring journey through the lives and music of the trailblazers; from the early blues singers like Bessie Smith and Billie Holiday, to sixties songwriters and early rockers, all the way to the present.

The music is woven together with a compelling narrative, exploring how these figures were affected by their times, and how they in turn brought about change through their enduring music.

First Ladies of Jazz and Pop is available for touring at clubs, colleges and arts centers. Celia’s backup can range from a duo with piano and voice (recommended for intimate venues) to a four-piece band with keyboard, bass, drums and guitar (for larger venues.)

First Ladies can be presented along with a vocal master class. See Workshops and Residencies for some options.

Celia Slattery has had a storied career of mixing music and monologue into exuberantly theatrical form. Shaun McNamara, Metronome Magazine

Trained in theater, this singer/songwriter does it all.  Cheryl Sinapis,Boston Globe

First Ladies Quiz: Test Yourself!


How well do you know the history of women in music of the 20th century? See if you can answer the following. (Answers below!)

Carole King

Aretha Franklin
      1. What female songwriter had a hit with a song about a girl thinking about a one night stand – in 1960, the year that birth control pills came out?
      2. What country singer carried a bottle of whiskey in her purse and was said to swear like a longshoreman?
      3. What great blues singer influenced Janis Joplin so much that she bought a tombstone for her previously unmarked grave?
      4. What female pop star drove across the country incognito in order to get inspiration for her songwriting?
      5. What singer was first introduced to jazz while working in a brothel?

Joan Baez

Quiz Answers:

1)Carole King
2)Patsy Cline
3)Ma Rainey
4)Joni Mitchell
5) Billie Holiday