Co-hosted by David Alan Grier and Patti Austin
David Alan Grier
And Special performance by Howard University’s Vocal Ensemble Afro Blue
Featuring The Legendary Count Basie Orchestra, Directed by Scotty Barnhart
And guest appearance by Shelly Berg, piano; Nathan East, bass; Gregg Field, drums; Brian Nova, jazz guitar
An Apollo Theater & Gregg Field Production
The Apollo will celebrate the centennial of Apollo Legend and the Queen of Jazz, Ella Fitzgerald, with a special blockbuster concert. Featuring performers from the worlds of jazz, R&B, theater and film, this engagement will honor the career of the “First Lady of Song” and her relationship to the Apollo Theater. The concert will also feature the music of the legendary Count Basie Orchestra and special performance by Howard University’s premier vocal jazz ensemble, Afro Blue.
This extraordinary event will take a look at the life and legacy of singer who would go on to become one of the most revered vocalists of all time. The music highlights Ella’s greatest hits including “A Tisket A Tasket", "Blues in the Night,” “Miss Otis Regrets,” “You’ll Have to Swing It " and more. The concert is produced in collaboration with seven-time Grammy winning producer Gregg Field, who at the age of 24 toured as the drummer for both Count Basie and Ella Fitzgerald. Field also produced the Emmy nominated PBS special “Great Performances: We Love Ella.” for Ella’s 90th birthday.
Ella Fitzgerald’s history with the Apollo dates back to the Fall of 1934, when she won the opportunity to compete in Amateur Night. The teenager went to the Theater planning to dance, but when the Edwards Sisters closed the main show, Ella changed her mind. She performed her rendition of Hoagy Carmichael's "Judy" and the Boswell Sister's “The Object of My Affection,” winning Amateur Night and making her the first female performer to earn that distinction. Soon after her Amateur Night win, she joined the Chick Webb Orchestra and began touring with the group in some of the most famous jazz venues in the city. Over the course of her legendary career, Ella would go on to perform at the Theater numerous times. In 2006, the Theater inducted the jazz legend into the Apollo Walk of Fame in honor of her history with the Apollo and her influence on the American music landscape.
As the season’s opening concert, this show is also the first of the Theater’s four events that will honor the “First Lady of Song’s” centennial birthday. The Apollo’s celebration of Ella will extend into Spring 2017 with: Apollo Live Wire discussion commemorating Ella’s legacy (Thursday, March 23, 2017); an Apollo Music Café dedicated to the songstress (Friday, April 7, 2017) and a special edition of Amateur Night celebrating the first female to win the Theater’s signature program (Wednesday, April 19, 2017).
DETAILS & TICKETS
Location: Apollo Mainstage
Tickets: $45, $55, $75, $125
In person at the Apollo Theater Box Office
By phone call Ticketmaster (800) 745-3000
Online at Ticketmaster.com
For Groups Call (212) 531-5355
* Additional $3.50 facility fee, online and phone service fees apply