Jutta Hipp, a German-born jazz pianist who cut short her musical career to become a dressmaker, died April 7 at her home in Queens, New York. She was 78.
Leipzig native began playing piano at 9. When Soviet troops moved in to occupy Leipzig she crossed into West Germany in 1946 where she continued to play piano in nightclubs before starting her own jazz group in Munich.
Jazz critic Leonard Feather brought Hipp to the U.S. to play the Hickory House Jazz Club in New York. She landed a three-record deal on Blue Note, debuting with “Jutta Hipp With Zoot Sims,” and two volumes of “Jutta Hipp at the Hickory House.” After two years at the Newport Jazz Festival, Hipp retired from her career due to low self-confidence, and in 1958, became a seamstress.
Lost from the world of professional jazz until Blue Note located her in New York City, Hipp finally received her royalty check of $40,000 from her three albums in 2000.