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Ella Fitzgerald



Ella Jane Fitzgerald, known as the "First Lady of Song" and "Lady Ella," was born on April 25, 1917.  Ella was an American jazz and song vocalist who interpreted much of the Great American Songbook.  She became the most popular female jazz vocalist in the U.S. for more than half a century.


Following a troubled childhood, Ella Fitzgerald, whom had a passion for dancing, went on to compete as a dancer at the Apollo Theater in 1934. Due to intimidation by the dancers (The Edward Sisters) who were on the stage, she decided to sing instead of dance.  That night, she won the top prize of $25.00 for singing.  She then went on to become the top female jazz singer for decades. In 1958, Fitzgerald made history as the first African-American woman to win a Grammy Award. Due to her vocal quality, with clear intonation and storytelling through song, the singer would go on to win 13 Grammys in total and sell more than 40 million albums. Her multi-volume "songbooks" on Verve Records are among America's recording treasures.


Ella Fitzgerald performed songs from great composers including Duke Ellington, Cole Porter, and the Gershwins.  She collaborated with many artists including Louis Armstrong, Billy Strayhorn, and Oscar Peterson.


Ella Fitzgerald ("First Lady of Song") passed away quietly at her home in California, July 15, 1996, at the age of 79.  She left behind a wonderful legacy and a great body of artistic work in jazz.


2017 will mark Ella Fitzgerald's 100th birthday!  Join us in concert at A'LA ELLA! as jazz vocalist Yvette Norwood-Tiger and her ensemble of highly-acclaimed jazz musicians celebrate the life of the First Lady of Song and the wonderful Great American Songbook!