‘Ella Fitzgerald & The Gershwins: Music’s Greatest Collaboration’ Webinar
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“I never knew how good our songs were until I heard Ella Fitzgerald sing them”–Ira Gershwin
In 1959, jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald and arranger Nelson Riddle released a five-disc, 60-song masterpiece featuring the music of songwriters George & Ira Gershwin — an album that is still considered one of the greatest musical achievements of all time. But how exactly did an Olympian jazz and pop vocalist and remarkable arranger take songs written decades earlier by a legendary pair of brothers, and re-invent them into something both wholly classic and new & contemporary? This is the story of how Ella Fitzgerald helped to define what we now think of as The Great American Songbook.
Join New York Adventure Club as we take a deep dive into the lives and legacy of jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald and songwriters George & Ira Gershwin, along with their legendary musical collaboration surround Ella Fitzgerald Sings the George and Ira Gershwin Song Book.
Led by award-winning author Will Friedwald — one of the most respected and widely-read historians of music and popular culture — our epic virtual experience and conversation around these jazz greats will include:
- The early years of George & Ira Gershwin, who rose from an immigrant family on the lower East Side to become the most celebrated American composers of his day
- The rags-to-riches story of Ella Fitzgerald, who went from having a hardscrabble childhood on the brink of homelessness to becoming one of the greatest jazz artists in the world
- The origins of Ella’s collaboration with The Gershwin brothers, and why they encouraged her over many others to sing their songbook
- An analysis of rare and priceless footage of Ella singing such classics as “S’Wonderful,” “How Long Has This Been Goin’ On,” and “I Got Rhythm,” drawn from her European concerts and vintage American variety shows
- A look at Ella’s guest stars, duet partners, orchestrators, and collaborators on this album — including all three members of the Rat Pack (Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr.), Duke Ellington, and Count Basie
- A discussion around rare photos and documents from The Gershwins’ collection, including the original song list prepared by Ira Gershwin (with his own hand-drawn doodles) and other materials documenting the creation of this classic album
Afterward, we’ll have a Q&A with Will — any and all questions about Ella Fitzgerald or The Gershwin brothers are welcomed and encouraged!
Can’t make it live? Don’t worry, you’ll have access to the full replay for one week!
See you there, virtually!
*Immediately upon registering, you will receive a separate, automated email containing the link to join this webinar
**For the best possible viewing experience, please ensure you’re using the latest version of your internet browser — Google Chrome is the most compatible. Exact technical requirements and a webinar user guide will be shared in the automated confirmation email upon registration.
***A full replay of the experience will be available to all registered guests for up to a week
Will Friedwald is a featured arts writer for The Wall Street Journal and Vanity Fair, and the award-winning author of ten books on music and popular culture, including the new Straighten Up and Fly Right: The Life and Music of Nat King Cole, as well as A Biographical Guide To The Great Jazz And Pop Singers, Sinatra: The Song Is You, Stardust Melodies, Tony Bennett: The Good Life, Looney Tunes & Merrie Melodies, and Jazz Singing. He has written over 600 liner notes for compact discs, received ten Grammy nominations, and appears frequently on television and other documentaries. He is also a consultant and curator for Apple Music.Buy tickets/get more info now