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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler


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Billie Holiday’s ascent—which began in a childhood that included running errands in a brothel in Baltimore, and took her to world stardom—was deeply researched by Linda Lipnack Kuehl, an arts writer who died before she could complete her biography of the singer. Kuehl’s candid photos, live footage, and archival videos remain, and have been an invaluable resource for other writers. Included in Kuehl’s research are hundreds of hours of interviews with Holiday’s colleagues—musicians such as Count Basie, Charles Mingus, and Melba Liston. The director James Erskine has used these audios to narrate an intimate new documentary on the jazz legend who died at 44. As Kuehl once wrote, Holiday “always did what she wanted to do—with a vengeance.” —E.C.

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