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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, (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 book Jazz Quartette, stories about four African American women Jazz musicians—Velma Middleton, Maxine Sullivan, Shirley Scott, and Melba Liston.

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