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Journalist Helen Oakley Dance Dies at 88

On Sunday, May 27, jazz journalist and historian Helen Oakley Dance passed away due to complications from a heart attack and broken hip suffered two weeks earlier. She was 88.

A native of Toronto, Canada, Dance’s enthusiasm for jazz brought her to Detroit, Chicago and New York, where she organized major events for Earl Hines, Billie Holiday and Benny Goodman, and produced the legendary Ellington small-band recordings in the late 1930s. She played host to the famed Master/Variety record label parties, and was principal organizer of events at the Savoy Ballroom and Carnegie Hall that helped introduce names like Ella Fitzgerald and Count Basie to the New York jazz scene.

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