Ella Fitzgerald: America's First Lady of Song
Laila Smith, Holly Smolik, Mary Stallings, Kenny Washington,
vocals; Noel Jewkes, saxophone; Erik Jekabson, trumpet; Larry Dunlap,
piano; Seward McCain, bass; Leon Joyce, drums
Sunday July 11 | 2:30 PM | Dinkelspiel Auditorium
Tickets: $32 general | $18 students | TAKE 5!
Inside Jazz: Ella: Simply the Best
Speaker: Alisa Clancy 1:30 PM (free with concert ticket)
Tickets Now On Sale
In a career spanning more than 50 years, Ella Fitzgerald set the gold
standard for jazz singing, became one of the world's most beloved
musicians, and changed American music forever.
Her unmistakable voice
was sweet, bell-clear, and powerful enough to soar above a big
band. Her pitch was flawless and her timing and communicative ability
made her interpretations of the great American songbook definitive.
Above all, she was an improviser of the first order. Her brilliant
scat singing took harmonic fluency and melodic invention to new heights,
radiating joy and beauty and always swinging like mad. As Bing Crosby
said, "Man, woman or child, Ella is the greatest of them all."
No jazz singer has ever been able to emulate Ella's one-of-a-kind
sound exactly. But it's also true that no vocalist can completely
escape her pervasive influence. Mary Stallings, whom the New York Times calls "perhaps the best jazz singer alive today," counts
Ella among a broad range of influences. Like Ella, Stallings spent
time as a featured singer with the Count Basie band. Vocalist Kenny
Washington has his own virtuosic take on vocal improvisation. With
a four-octave range and the harmonic facility of a horn player,
Washington's scatting carries on Ella's legacy, but filters
it through his own unique sensibility.
With musical direction by Larry
Dunlap, this special tribute will celebrate Ella's contribution
to the world of jazz and the songs she made famous. Also featuring
young Workshop vocal program participants Laila Smith and Holly Smolik
(Ella recorded her breakthrough hit, "A-Tisket, A-Tasket," when
she was only 21).
Ella Fitzgerald – "Do Nothing Til You Hear
Ella Fitzgerald – "Between the Devil & the
Deep Blue Sea"
Ella Fitzgerald – "Cottontail"
Fitzgerald performing Mack the Knife
Mary Stallings - "I Love Being Here With You," Chivas Jazz Festival, 2003
Mary Stallings - "I Got Rhythm," Chivas Jazz Festival, 2003