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The Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra Presents: A Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald
Start Date: 2/7/2014Start Time: 7:30 PM
End Date: 2/7/2014End Time: 10:30 PM
Event Description
Dubbed “The First Lady of Song,” Ella Fitzgerald (1917 - 1996) was the most popular female jazz singer in the United States for more than half a century. In her lifetime, she won 13 Grammy awards and sold over 40 million albums. Her voice was flexible, wide-ranging, accurate and ageless. She could sing sultry ballads, sweet jazz and imitate every instrument in an orchestra. She worked with all the jazz greats from Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Nat King Cole to Frank Sinatra, Dizzy Gillespie and Benny Goodman. (Or rather, some might say all the jazz greats had the pleasure of working with Ella.) She performed at top venues all over the world, and packed them to the hilt. Her audiences were as diverse as her vocal range. They were rich and poor, made up of all races, all religions and all nationalities. In fact, many of them had just one binding factor in common - they all loved her.

This special "Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald" program will present many of Ella's original big band arrangements graciously made available to Manchester Craftsmen's Guild (MCG) by the Smithsonian Institution’s Jazz Program with the assistance of the Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation. The Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra (SJMO) will come together with regional musicians and will feature New York Voices co-founder, Kim Nazarian, paying tribute to Ella with her elegant style and vocal expertise. The repertoire centers on a special moment in American history by pulling original arrangements done for Ella in the 1940-1950s from the Smithsonian and Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation archives. Arrangements not heard by live audiences in over 40 years. Superstar arrangers such as Billy May, Count Basie, Van Alexander, Billy Strayhorn and Benny Carter make up the majority of the selections. Additionally, the Smithsonian Jazz Masterwork Orchestra commissioned new arrangements for the band that keep in the spirit of the body of work represented from Ella’s songbook adding a sense of contemporariness to round out this unique show. Selected Discography includes... Ella Fitzgerald Twelve Nights in Hollywood [Hip-O Select], Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Duke Ellington Song Book [Verve], Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra Live at MCG (DVD) [MCG Jazz], Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra Tribute to a Generation: A Salute to the Big Bands of the WWII Era [Smithsonian Folkways].

Co-produced by Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra and MCG Jazz, "Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald" first premiered at Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild in Pittsburgh, PA in February 2010, and has since toured to the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, AZ, Blues Alley in Washington, DC, Animal Crackers Jazz Series in Racine, WI and back to Pittsburgh as part of the Allegheny County Parks Summer Concert series in July 2012. 

This presentation can adapt to the most formal of concert hall setting to an outdoor festival stage. A traveling exhibit of Ella Fitzgerald memorabilia such as one of her dresses, music charts and photos can accompany the tour, a slide presentation of archival photos of Ella with her GRAMMY Award and with other jazz legends, such as Duke Ellington, Van Alexander, Joe Pass and Oscar Peterson that help tell the story of Ella and her contribution to big band repertoire is incorporated into the program all as a value added prospects for presenters. Further, a collaborative tone will be set via postings on SJMO, MCG Jazz and Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation web sites and social media outlets (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, etc.), including free audio downloads as incentive for ticket buyers and availability for post-concert receptions and meet-and-greets with the artists.

Single tickets on sale Wednesday, August 7th.
Location Information:
Tuscarawas Campus - Performing Arts Center
Contact Information:
Name: Tom Flood
Phone: 330-308-6400
This event is open to:
  • Current Students
  • Future Students
  • Faculty / Staff
  • Alumni
  • General Public

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