The Frost School of Music Concert Jazz Band (CJB) and Jazz Voice Department is enthused to partner with the Ella Fitzgerald Foundation to present a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald’s 100th Birthday, in conjunction with the Smithsonian’s newly opened Ella Fitzgerald Exhibit and the ACCelerate Creativity and Innovation Festival 2017. The Smithsonian archive is home to a trove of original arrangements by the greatest jazz musicians of the 20th century. Ella performed these classics from the Great American Songbook with the orchestras of Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Chick Webb and others.
The Frost School of Music Jazz Studies Department has received numerous prestigious “Downbeat Awards,” typically garnering a dozen or more of these coveted prizes on an annual basis. In the last three years, the Concert Jazz Band (CJB) competed twice in the Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival, the most important event of its kind for university ensembles. CJB won the competition on both occasions and was invited each time to appear at the Monterrey Jazz Festival. Jazz vocalists in the Frost School are similarly acclaimed. In the most recent Thelonius Monk Competition devoted to jazz singing, one Frost School vocalist was awarded second place, and another was a semi-finalist. A few weeks prior to that, a different vocalist from the school won the Sarah Vaughn Jazz Voice Competition.
The Frost School of Music Jazz Department occupies an elite standing among the top few programs in the US. They have been featured in four national television specials in the last eight years, and they have been the band for major label and network releases featuring Gloria Estefan, George Benson, Chick Corea, Bobby McFerrin, Patti Austin, Take Six, Terence Blanchard, Dave Grusin, Dave Koz, Mark O’Connor and many other icons of American Music. These are unprecedented accomplishments for a university group, and as such, this collaboration with the Ella Fitzgerald Foundation and Museum of American History will be a highlight of the ACCelerate Festival.