Vi Redd

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Vi Redd
Birth name Vi Redd
Born (1928-09-20) September 20, 1928 (age 86)
Origin Los Angeles
Genres Jazz, bebop, hard bop, post bop
Occupation(s) Musician, vocalist, teacher
Instruments Alto saxophone
Years active 1950–2010
Labels Atlantic, Atco, UA
Associated acts Count Basie orchestra

Elvira "Vi" Redd (born September 20, 1928[1]) is an American jazz alto saxophone player, vocalist and educator. She has been active since the early 1950s and is known primarily for playing in the bebop, hard bop and post-bop styles. She is highly regarded as an accomplished veteran who personally knew Dizzy Gillespie (see the Vi's 2009 interview on YouTube) and has performed with such stars as Count Basie, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Linda Hopkins and Marian McPartland.[2]


The daughter of New Orleans jazz drummer and Clef Club co-founder, Alton Redd, Vi was born in Los Angeles. She was deeply influenced during her formative years by her father, who was one of the leading figures on the Central Avenue jazz scene. Another important musical mentor was her paternal great aunt, Alma Hightower.[3]

After working for the Board of Education from 1957–60, Vi returned to jazz. She played in Las Vegas in 1962, with Earl Hines in 1964 and led a group in San Francisco in the mid-1960s with her husband, drummer Richie Goldberg. During this time, Vi also worked with Max Roach. While active, she toured as far as Japan, London (including an unprecedented 10 weeks at Ronnie Scott's), Sweden, Spain and Paris. In 1969, she settled in Los Angeles where she played locally while also working as an educator. She led albums for United Artists (1962) and Atco (1962–63) but nothing else since then. Her 1963 album Lady Soul features many prominent jazz figures of the day, including Bill Perkins, Jennell Hawkins, Barney Kessel, Leroy Vinnegar, Leroy Harrison, Dick Hyman, Paul Griffin, Bucky Pizzarelli, Ben Tucker and Dave Bailey. The liner notes are by Leonard Feather.

A Cal State LA graduate, she also earned a teaching certificate from University of Southern California and taught as a classroom teacher for many years from the '70s onward upon returning to Los Angeles.[2]


  • 1962 – Bird Call (United Artists/Solid State)
  • 1962 – Lady Soul (Atco)
  • 1968 – Count Basie Live at Antibes 1968 (Rare Records France)
  • 1970 – Gene Ammons / Dexter Gordon: The Chase! (Prestige)
  • 1977 – Marian McPartland Now's the Time (Halcyon)


  1. ^ Scott Yanow All Music Guide to Jazz
  2. ^ a b Nadal, James. All About Jazz
  3. ^ "West Coast Women: A Jazz Genealogy", Pacific Review of Ethnomusicology, by Sherrie Tucker, Vol. 8, No. 1 (Winter 1996/1997), p. 10; ISSN 1096-1291.

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