Stamp of the Month: May 2017

Ella Fitzgerald
Bulgaria April 2017

Ella Fitzgerald was born on April 25, 1917 in Newport News, Virginia. She died on June 15, 1996 in Beverly Hills, California. This year she would have been 100 years old.
Ella Fitzgerald made her debut as a singer with seventeen in a talent contest at the Apollo Theater in Harlem. In 1935, Chick Webb hired her for his big band. In 1941 she began her solo career and became one of the greatest jazz singers.

Her repertoire ranged from swing to bebop, blues, bossa nova, samba, gospel and hip-hop to jazzy Christmas songs. Her trademark was scat singing, which was co-developed by her. To date, none has the lightness of phrasing and her remarkable vocal range of three octaves: both allowed her to improvise with her voice just like a jazz instrumentalist. Fitzgerald’s best recordings include their songbooks of the most important American composers, with which she made monuments. Another important recording is the complete recording of the opera “Porgy and Bess”, which she recorded with Louis Armstrong. Ella Fitzgerald won 13 Grammys and was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 1987.

The video shows excerpts of a studio recording of German ZDF TV for the program “Ella Fitzgerald – The First Lady of Jazz” (1974).