The International Sweethearts of Rhythm Project Wikibase Project Page
The International Sweethearts of Rhythm was an all-women big band formed by the Piney Woods Country Life School in Piney Woods, Mississippi in the late 1930s. Founded by Laurence C. Jones, the Piney Woods boarding school sought to teach young African Americans a vocation, one of which was music. Performing around the country, the International Sweethearts of Rhythm enjoyed a high level of success. Although the band officially broke from the school in 1941, it continued to perform until 1949, with members of the band playing under the “Sweethearts” moniker even after the 1949 break-up.
Semantic Lab’s International Sweethearts of Rhythm Project serves to help promote the history of this famous all-women big band. It is part of Semantic Lab’s larger effort to leverage semantic web technologies to expose and correct existing gender biases in the jazz historical record.
The International Sweethearts of Rhythm Project is a subproject of the “Women of Jazz” (record | description) project and falls under the larger umbrella of “Linked Jazz” projects (record | description). Please note that musicians may overlap with other projects, for example, The Linked Jazz Oral History Network (record | description), reflected in individual records under the property "part of project".
Semantic Lab’s International Sweethearts of Rhythm Project expands and enhances the band’s information on the web by creating and/or adding information to records in both Wikidata and here on Semantic Lab’s own Wikibase. Activities focus on band members and other figures who played a role in the band’s history. This serves to increase the visibility and discoverability of the contributions of these individual women to jazz, while also enabling a means to cross-query Wikidata’s records with our record data for these women.
D. Antoinette Handy’s definitive work “The International Sweethearts of Rhythm: The Ladies Jazz Band from the Piney Woods Country Life School" was our initial touchpoint for manually collecting information about this historical band, though further resources continue to be consulted to create the most robust records possible, especially for band members. The following represents our targeted baseline information for each musician who is part of the International Sweethearts of Rhythm Project. Note: Not all musicians have full record information. For example, in some instances, instrument information was not found.
|Property PID||Qualifier PID||Property label||Value (examples in cursive)|
|P1||instance of||person (Q1)|
|P8||Wikidata Q number||Q95982283|
|P11||part of project||Linked Jazz (Q2)|
|P11||part of project||Women of Jazz (Q20613)|
|P11||part of project||The International Sweethearts of Rhythm Project (Q20655)|
|P65||member of||International Sweethearts of Rhythm (Q20614)|
|P65 => P57||instrument||trumpet (Q20620)|
|P65 => P117||role||musician (Q19082)|
|P65 => P117||role||bandleader (Q20632)|
Example: Nancy Brown
For a full list of properties in use in the International Sweethearts of Rhythm Project, please see the Project Data section below.
Research on the International Sweethearts of Rhythm yielded further information on membership in other bands, which was also added to their Wikidata and Semantic Lab Wikibase records. For more information on this, please see the “Women of Jazz” project description (record| | description).
Starting in 2021, Semantic Lab began to explore new ways of tracking the popularity and reception of the International Sweethearts of Rhythm during their time. Newspaper articles and concert announcements were sourced to create concert records. This helped expand records in our Wikibase to include music venues across the country that were active during the early to mid-20th century and that were large enough to accommodate big-band events.
Please see the section Project Data below for examples of how to query the International Sweethearts of Rhythm Project concert data.
Note: If you would like to read a general description about data on Semantic Lab's Wikibase and various ways to query data, please see the home page for Semantic Lab’s Wikibase.
SPARQL query to retrieve the list of all records associated with the International Sweethearts of Rhythm Project:
SPARQL query to retrieve the list of person records associated with the International Sweethearts of Rhythm Project:
Full list of properties currently in use for the International Sweethearts of Rhythm Project:
Full list of reference sources and reference records for people defined as members of the International Sweethearts of Rhythm:
Full list of reference sources and reference records for concerts that are part of the International Sweethearts of Rhythm Project:
Current list of International Sweethearts of Rhythm concerts: