This annual tradition in honor of Women’s History Month features some of the best-known and unsung female performers in jazz today. Our 2017 festival will celebrate Ella Fitzgerald’s centennial birthday and continued influence on the evolution of jazz. "Ella, Ella: A Centennial Celebration of Mama Jazz!" is slated for four consecutive Mondays–March 6, 13, 20, and 27. Each night will explore the multi-dimensional music, life, and legacy of this jazz legend. The festival’s guest curators are critically acclaimed harpist Brandee Younger and ethnomusicologist Aja Burrell Wood, and The Afro-Latino Festival.
March 6: Divine Ella
Acclaimed harpist Brandee Younger will join singer Jean Baylor, Camille Thurman (alto sax and vocals), Courtney Bryan (piano), Dezron Douglas (bass) and Kassa Overall (drums) as they highlight Ella Fitzgerald’s influence in both sacred and secular music. The evening will draw on Fitzgerald’s record, “Brighten the Corner,” offering original compositions and new arrangements of favorite Fitzgerald masterpieces that evoke a spiritual essence.
This program is guest curated by harpist Brandee Younger, a fearless and versatile talent, who defies genres and labels as a classically-trained musician playing in the avant-garde tradition of her sonically forward predecessors Dorothy Ashby and Alice Coltrane.
March 13: Ella is Present
Grammy Award-winning jazz drummer, composer, and producer Terri Lyne Carrington, together with special guests, will perform a tribute to the indelible legacy of Ella Fitzgerald. This retrospective will present Fitzgerald’s impact on today’s diverse and progressive voices and explore her unique influence in contemporary music. Guest curated by Aja Burrell Woods, enthnomusicologist and adjunct professor of African American music at The New School and Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music
March 20: WJF in Conversation: There’s Something About Ella
(To RSVP for this FREE talk, please click here.)
Join us for the debut of Women’s Jazz Festival Conversations. We invite scholars, artists, and archivists to discuss the legacy of women in jazz. This evening we will reflect on the legacy of Ella Fitzgerald.
March 27: J’adore Ella
The French duo, Les Nubians, sisters Hélène and Célia Faussart from Bordeaux, France are known for melding African rhythms with jazz and R&B. This final evening of the festival will provide a glimpse of Fitzgerald’s influence as an internationally acclaimed jazz artist. In 1990, Fitzgerald received the French medal of Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters (Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres) for her significant contributions to jazz. Infusing traditional Fitzgerald with cultural notes from across the African diaspora, the Grammy-nominated singers offer a sophisticated ode to why the world loves Ella Fitzgerald. Guest curated by the Afro-Latino Festival NYC.
WBGO Jazz 88.3FM/WBGO.org is a media partner of the 2017 Women’s Jazz Festival.
Please note that holding seats in the Langston Hughes Auditorium is strictly prohibited and there is no food or drinks allowed anywhere in the Schomburg Center.
Please send all press inquiries (photo, video, interviews, audio-recording, etc) at least 24-hours before the day of the program to Ayofemi Kirby at email@example.com.
Please note that professional photography and video recordings are prohibited without expressed consent.