The Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, with Delores King Williams
Dubbed “The First Lady of Song”, the legendary Ella Fitzgerald was the most popular female jazz singer in the United States for more than fifty years. During Ella’s lifetime, she won 13 Grammy awards and sold over 40 million albums. The Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, established by an act of Congress in 1990, is an acclaimed 17-piece big band specializes in re-creating classic performances from the past. Whatever it plays must be an authentic re-creation of the original. In this tribute concert, it pulls together original big band arrangements created for Ella in the 1940s and 1950s from the Smithsonian archives. These arrangements (by superstars Billy May, Count Basie, Billy Strayhorn, and more) have not been heard live by audiences in more than 40 years. Featured vocalist Delores King Williams is a native of Baltimore and studied at the Peabody Conservatory of Music. She has performed at the White House and Carnegie Hall, in off-Broadway runs.