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On Thursday, April 12th at 3:30 p.m., come and bring friends of all ages to the North Sarasota Library to meet Ms. Norma Miller, see her on film in the National Geography 17-minute documentary, Jitterbug, and feel the power of the beat!
Norma Miller (born December 2nd, 1919 in Harlem, New York) is an American swing dancer known as “The Queen of Swing.” The daughter of parents from Bridgetown, Barbados, Ms. Miller was born and raised in Harlem, New York.
She was interviewed along with dance partner Frankie Manning in Ken Burns’ documentary Jazz. The author of several books, Norma Miller’s Swing Baby Swing chronicles the evolution of the swing dance culture into the 21st century. Norma Miller’s biography, Swingin’ at the Savoy: A Memoir of a Jazz Dancer, recollects her youthful encounters with Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Ethel Waters, and other jazz musicians.
In the 1960s, Miller began working with Redd Foxx at his comedy club and later joined him on his 1970s television series Sanford and Son. Norma Miller has also worked on film and TV with the likes of Richard Pryor, Bill Cosby, and Ella Fitzgerald. She has been featured performing in a number of movies, including: the Marx Brothers’ A Day at the Races (1937) and Hellzapoppin’ (1941); Spike Lee’s Malcolm X (1992); Stompin’ at the Savoy (1992), John Biffar’s Captiva (1995), along with documentaries such as the National Geographic’s Jitterbug (1991) and the Smithsonian Jazz series on NPR.