Jean Kittrell’s legacy spans continents and genres. It exists not only as the photographs, recordings, and documents in the Jean Kittrell Collection, but also in the impact she had on St. Louis jazz groups today and the fond memories of friends, fans, and former bandmembers. America’s First Lady of Jazz will be remembered for generations to come because of the incredible impact on those around her, as any who had the pleasure of hearing her perform can attest.

In the following pages, explore the many elements of Jean’s legacy from former bandmembers who have taken the lead in bands of their own to the founding of the National Ragtime and Jazz Archive and SIUE Jazz Studies Jean Kittrell Scholarship which she championed during her career. A complete list of Jean’s recorded works is listed in the “Discography,” and the “Memories” page is a testament to Jean’s personal impact on all those she met and worked with.

Jean Kittrell Headshot, Undated