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November 14, 2021

Vintage Photographs of Jazz Bassist Vivien Garry in the 1940s

Vivien Garry (1920–2008) was a jazz bassist. She led the Vivien Garry Quintet (which, on at least one date, included Edna Williams of the International Sweethearts of Rhythm on trumpet and Ginger Smock on violin) and the Vivien Garry Trio (which included her husband, Arv Garrison, on guitar and Wini Beatty on piano).

In her book, New York City Jazz, Elizabeth Dodd Brinkofski writes that Vivien’s groups “played all over Manhattan’s top jazz nightclubs in the 1940s.” She goes on to write that “this was the beginning of women gaining attention as musicians in the genre of jazz.”

Though that may be difficult to believe given there is little information readily available on Vivien Garry and the musicians with whom she recorded, like Ginger Smock, Edna Williams, Dody Jeshke, and Winnie Beatty. Brinkofski also writes that “Viven Garry was the only female bass player that performed on Fifty-Second Street.”

Take a look at these rare vintage photos to see portrait of a young Vivien Garry in the 1940s.

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