Recognized as a child musical prodigy the young Scott was awarded scholarships to study classical piano at the Juilliard School from the age of eight. To evade the political persecution of artists in the McCarthy era Scott moved to Paris in the late 1950s and performed in France not returning to the United States until 1967. This was also a time of continued racism in the advertising industry and economic hardships for jazz musicians in general.
Recognized early as a musical prodigy Scott was given scholarships from the age of eight to study at the Juilliard School. She began performing in a jazz band in her teens and was performing on radio at age 16.