A Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday
Along with popular Ottawa vocalists Dominique Forest and Nicole Ratté, I am delighted to be heading to Brockville this May to reprise our tribute concert celebrating the careers of Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday, two incomparable jazz artists. The concert has been presented twice: the sold-out debut performance at the National Arts Centre Fourth Stage in Ottawa in April 2013 and as the closing event of Merrickville’s Jazz Fest last October. Both concerts were very well received.
Through the veil of a brief snapshot in time when Ella and Billie played consecutive dates at the 1957 Newport Jazz Festival, the concert repertoire offers selections from the live recording that was released the following year.
Both Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday suffered difficult beginnings but overcame them to establish successful singing careers in the early 1930s that continued to thrive in the 1940s, 50s and beyond. Their interpretations of the popular songs of the era and the paths taken in their personal lives were vastly different. The concert will feature jazz standards from the live album by well-known songwriters including George and Ira Gershwin; Jimmy McHugh and Dorothy Fields; Rodgers and Hart; Vernon Duke and Yip Harburg; Sigmund Romberg and Oscar Hammerstein II, and Sonny Burke, Lionel Hampton and Johnny Mercer. The performers will share a few personal favourites not included on the live recording which have been indelibly marked with Ella and Billie’s signature styles.
Karen, Dominique and Nicole will also pay tribute to the late Jacques Emond, founding artistic director of the Ottawa Jazz Festival and long-time radio host. Jacques did much to encourage and support the careers of these three vocalists as well as many other Ottawa-Gatineau performers. Accompanying the vocalists are five wonderful Ottawa-based instrumentalists: Mark Ferguson, Music Director, on piano and trombone; Jeff Asselin on drums; Tim Bedner on guitar; Normand Glaude on double bass; and Mike Tremblay on tenor saxophone.
Tickets are $20 and are available at All You Need Music in Brockville by cash or cheque only (payable to the Brockville Concert Association). Detailed information available here. Please visit the Festival website to check for information about the 2014 Festival line-up.