Ella Fitzgerald was born on April 25, 1917. Often referred to as The First Lady of Jazz, this year we celebrate the 100th anniversary of her birth and her immeasurable contribution to music with a concert that focuses on Ella’s superb songbook recordings of the 1950s and 60s. Originally produced by the legendary Norman Granz and released on the Verve label, the songbooks celebrate Ella at her vocal best and feature songs by Cole Porter, Rodgers & Hart, Duke Ellington, Irving Berlin, George & Ira Gershwin, Harold Arlen, Jerome Kern and Johnny Mercer. The concert pays tribute to one of the best loved interpreters of vocal jazz of all time and an artist cited by many contemporary jazz vocalists as their first and most lasting inspiration.
Popular local jazz singer Karen Oxorn returns to the National Arts Centre Fourth Stage for the fifth time with her latest tribute to a celebrated jazz artist. For this presentation, Karen has invited Michael Curtis Hanna as Guest Vocalist. A recent arrival on the Ottawa music scene from Detroit, Michael is an exceptionally talented, inventive and exciting artist, and one not to be missed. Joining Karen once again as Music Director, and playing piano and trombone is Mark Ferguson, an accomplished and much admired Ottawa musician, band leader, composer and arranger, who will lead The Ella Celebration Band. In addition to Mark, the band features several of Ottawa’s finest and most in demand jazz musicians: Tim Bedner on guitar, Normand Glaude on double bass, Scott Latham on drums, Fred Paci on trumpet and Vince Rimbach on saxophone.