Ella Fitzgerald – Jazzy

Jazzy – of, resembling, or in the style of jazz; bright, colorful, and showy.

Ella Fitzgerald, an American jazz and song vocalist, is known as the “First Lady of Song.” Ella endured a troubled childhood, and after her mother died ended up moving in with an aunt. After skipping school, and leaving her reform school, Ella was on her own in 1934 still believing she could become an entertainer. She entered an amateur contest at Harlem’s Apollo Theater and ended up winning first place.

From that moment, Ella’s career started taking off. She eventually began playing regularly at one of the hottest clubs in Harlem and recorded “Love and Kisses” with Chick Webb in 1935. By 1938, Ella put out her two hits “A-Tisket, A-Tasket,” which she co-wrote and “I Found My Yellow Basket.”

“Lady Ella” became known for her ability to mimic instrumental sounds and she made popular “scatting” (vocal improv), which became her signature. Fitzgerald picked up her first two Grammys in 1958, the year of the very first Grammys. This made her the first African-American woman to win the award. She won for best individual jazz performance and best female vocal performance.

Ella Fitzgerald never let go of her dream to be an entertainer. Today, we celebrate her for influencing so many musicians, both past and present. I’m reminding by her to be jazzy!

It isn’t where you came from, its where you’re going that counts. – Ella Fitzgerald

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