The Music Institute of Chicago celebrates the 100th birthday of “The First Lady of Song”— Ella Fitzgerald.
Ella Fitzgerald (1917–96) first achieved musical success with the Chick Webb Orchestra, performing around the country and often at the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem. She launched a solo career in 1942, recording many of her best-known works on the Verve Records label. She appeared in films and as a guest on popular television programs, and she collaborated with Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and The Ink Spots, among others. Some of her most recognizable songs include “A-Tisket, A-Tasket,” “Dream a Little Dream of Me,” “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing),” and other iconic songs. Her improvisational scat singing distinguished her from all her peers. She received 14 Grammy Awards, the National Medal of Arts and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Ella Fitzgerald protégé Carmen Bradford joins Music Institute Artist-in-Residence Tammy McCann and other faculty from the Music Institute Jazz Studies program for a lineup of tunes from the Great American Songbook. Bradford sang with the Count Basie Orchestra from 1982 to 1990 and has performed around the world with Thad Jones, David Murray, and other jazz celebrities. McCann, who appears regularly at jazz venues around Chicago, has performed with Chicago’s own Ramsey Lewis and Von Freeman and toured with Ray Charles as a “Raelette.”
Saturday, November 11, 7:30 p.m.
Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Avenue, Evanston
All photos courtesy of Music Institute of Chicago