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Ella Fitzgerald

Ella Fitzgerald
Carl Van Vechten/Library of Congress

Ella Fitzgerald artist page: interviews, features and/or performances archived at NPR Music

Concerts

Ella Fitzgerald performs with the Dizzy Gillespie Big Band in 1947. That's Gillespie to her right, in complete awe.

September 15, 2011 Dee Dee Bridgewater and Janis Siegel sing Ella Fitzgerald at the Kennedy Center.

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Interviews & Profiles

Ella Fitzgerald

March 29, 2010 Her "scat" singing was as dazzling as her simplest melodic statements.

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Ella Fitzgerald, circa 1973.

June 13, 2007 With Fitzgerald, you don't just recognize her voice; the sound of it makes you feel good.

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Discover Songs

The cover of Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie

August 1, 2001 With her distinctive voice, Fitzgerald could carry ballads, swinging solos and scat-style music.

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The cover of Wishes You A Swinging Christmas

August 1, 2001 "The First Lady of Song" recorded some of her best performances on this album of holiday classics.

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Reviews

Ella Fitzgerald sings with bandleader Chick Webb in Asbury Park, N.J., in 1938.

December 11, 2013 "This is it," Webb said of Fitzgerald. "I have a real singer now. That's what the public wants."

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Don Byron released Love, Peace, and Soul with his New Gospel Quintet on Feb. 21.

March 12, 2012 Two recent albums offer contrasting perspectives on the intersection of two American music styles.

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January 27, 2010 Critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a new compilation of unreleased recordings Fitzgerald made in 1961.

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December 25, 2007 WBGO host Gary Walker shares his favorite jazz recordings of 2007, led by the late Michael Brecker.

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The cover of Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie

August 1, 2001 With her distinctive voice, Fitzgerald could carry ballads, swinging solos and scat-style music.

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The cover of Wishes You A Swinging Christmas

August 1, 2001 "The First Lady of Song" recorded some of her best performances on this album of holiday classics.

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More Stories

Frank Sinatra's "The Coffee Song" makes light of a perceived Brazilian coffee glut.

April 25, 2013 Hear a wildly different set of songs about coffee, by artists from Bach to Dethklok to Yung Joc.

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All Songs Considered hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton set out on a road trip to find the true spirit of the holiday season. Along the way they stop at the Silent Night Motel, where they meet Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips, St. Vincent (Annie Clark), Josh Ritter, and more.

December 19, 2013 Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton set out on a snowy road trip in search of the true spirit of the season.

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December 7, 2006 Pittsburgh-based NPR member station WDUQ presents a list of the 10 best holiday jazz CDs.

In a conversation aired on WBGO, Jessye Norman credits the study of jazz with her understanding of song interpretation.

September 20, 2013 The soprano tells WBGO that studying jazz vocalists influenced the way she interprets songs.

Norman Granz at his office in July 1987.

October 20, 2011 Granz put artists like Ella Fitzgerald into concert halls while striking a blow for civil rights.

Ella Fitzgerald: Putting all her Easter eggs in one basket.

April 21, 2011 Grab some chocolate bunnies and hear five jazz songs to help you hop into the Easter spirit.

Kid plays in front of a fire hydrant; credit: vcferry via Flickr

July 12, 2010 Beat the heat with an iced beverage in hand and these five jazz songs in the background.

Gene Kelly in 'Singin' in the Rain'

November 2, 2009 Let Gene Kelly, Patrica Barber and Mahalia Jackson provide a soundtrack for November showers.

Cole Porter contributed many songs to the Great American Songbook,  including "I've Got You Under My Skin" and "I Get a Kick Out of You."

June 8, 2009 Celebrate Porter's birthday with covers by Aretha Franklin, Ella Fitzgerald, Nellie McKay and more.

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October 17, 2008 The German violin diva reveals what she likes to listen to when she's not practicing.

Ella Fitzgerald.

April 23, 2008 Fitzgerald's three-octave range and pure tone made her one of the most recognized voices in jazz.

Broken Heart.

February 11, 2008 Hear heartbreaking songs of love lost, performed by some of the greatest jazz singers of all time.

Autumn in Central Park.

November 8, 2007 If you're daydreaming about New York while the leaves change, here's a soundtrack, courtesy of WDUQ.

NPR Artist Directory

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Frederic Chopin

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Gillian Welch

Gillian Welch

Enjoy archival interviews and performances from the folk revivalist.

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Spoon

Spoon

Music, live concerts and interviews with the pop-rock band.

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Rodrigo y Gabriela

Hear and watch exclusive performances from the guitar-playing Mexican duo.

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Bon Iver

Bon Iver

Hear concerts and interviews with the atmospheric art-folk singer.

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Charles Mingus

Charles Mingus

Hear performances and profiles of the jazz innovator's work.

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Emerson String Quartet

Emerson String Quartet

Hear essential recordings and performances from the lauded quartet.

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Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

NPR Music explores the life and voice of the passionate Qawwali singer.

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Wye Oak

Wye Oak

Exclusive performances from the pop duo from Baltimore.

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M.I.A.

M.I.A.

Music and news from the Sri Lanka-born hip-hop artist and producer.

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Arcade Fire

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Hear concerts and interviews with the grandiose art-rock band.

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Come Sunday

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  • Album: Come Sunday
  • Artist: Charlie Haden and Hank Jones
  • Released: 2012
 

Love, Peace and Soul

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  • Album: Love, Peace and Soul
  • Artist: Don Byron New Gospel Quintet
  • Released: 2012
 

Ella in Berlin [Complete Ella in Berlin: Mack the Knife]

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  • Album: Ella in Berlin [Complete Ella in Berlin: Mack the Knife]
  • Artist: Ella Fitzgerald
  • Label: Impulse!
  • Released: 1960
 

Sings the Cole Porter Song Book [Bonus Tracks]

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  • Album: Sings the Cole Porter Song Book [Bonus Tracks]
  • Artist: Ella Fitzgerald
  • Label: Verve
  • Released: 1956
 

Sings the Rodgers and Hart Song Book [Vol. 1]

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  • Album: Sings the Rodgers and Hart Song Book [Vol. 1]
  • Artist: Ella Fitzgerald
  • Label: Verve
 

Twelve Nights in Hollywood

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  • Album: Twelve Nights in Hollywood
  • Artist: Ella Fitzgerald
  • Label: Hip-o Select
  • Released: 2009
 

The Christmas Song

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  • Album: The Christmas Song
  • Artist: Nat "King" Cole
 

Ella Wishes You a Swingin' Christmas

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  • Album: Ella Wishes You a Swingin' Christmas
  • Artist: Ella Fitzgerald
 

A Charlie Brown Christmas

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  • Album: A Charlie Brown Christmas
  • Artist: Vince Guaraldi Trio
 

Christmas Songs

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  • Album: Christmas Songs
  • Artist: Diana Krall Featuring the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra
 

A Nancy Wilson Christmas

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  • Album: A Nancy Wilson Christmas
  • Artist: Nancy Wilson
 

Christmas Time Is Here

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  • Album: Christmas Time Is Here
  • Artist: Dianne Reeves
 

Yule Be Miserable

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  • Album: Yule Be Miserable
  • Artist: Various Artists
 

Jazz Yule Love II

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  • Album: Jazz Yule Love II
  • Artist: Various Artists
 

Crescent City Christmas Card

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  • Album: Crescent City Christmas Card
  • Artist: Wynton Marsalis
 

Norman Granz: The Man Who Used Jazz for Justice

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  • Norman Granz: The Man Who Used Jazz for Justice
  • Tad Hershorn
 

Puccini: La Bohème

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  • Album: Puccini: La Bohème
  • Artist: Mirella Freni
  • Label: London
  • Released: 1987
 

A Streetcar Named Desire: "I Want Magic!"

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  • Album: A Streetcar Named Desire: "I Want Magic!"
  • Artist: Renée Fleming
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • Released: 1998
 

Best of the Songbooks

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  • Album: Best of the Songbooks
  • Artist: Ella Fitzgerald
  • Label: Castle
  • Released: 1993
 

Ella and Louis Again

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  • Album: Ella and Louis Again
  • Artist: Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong
  • Label: Verve
  • Released: 1957
 

Last Giant: Anthology

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  • Album: Last Giant: Anthology
  • Artist: John Coltrane
  • Label: Rhino
  • Released: 1946
 

Seven Steps: The Complete Columbia Recordings 1963-1964

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  • Album: Seven Steps: The Complete Columbia Recordings 1963-1964
  • Artist: Miles Davis
  • Label: Sony
 

In My Time

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  • Album: In My Time
  • Artist: Gerald Wilson Orchestra
  • Label: Mack Avenue
 

Jazz Memories

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  • Album: Jazz Memories
  • Artist: Various Artists
  • Label: Innerhythmic Foundat
 

First Lady of Song

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  • Album: First Lady of Song
  • Artist: Ella Fitzgerald
  • Released: 1993
 

The Early Years, Part 1

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  • Album: The Early Years, Part 1
  • Artist: Ella Fitzgerald
  • Released: 1997
 

Wishes You A Swinging Christmas

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  • Album: Wishes You A Swinging Christmas
  • Artist: Ella Fitzgerald
 

Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie!

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  • Album: Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie!
  • Artist: Ella Fitzgerald