A great American jazz singer, who was also called “The First Lady of Jazz”, and “Lady Ella”, is known all over the world. It’s about Ella Jane Fitzgerald. She is the greatest jazz singer in the history, the range of her unique voice is three octaves. “Lady Ella” masterfully owned the technique of voice improvisation and remained in this unsurpassed.
Fitzgerald was born on April 25, 1917, in Newport News, Virginia. Her parents are ordinary people: her mother worked as a laundress, and her father as a worker. Ella was very small when her father left the family. Mother, taking her daughter with her, moved to New York, where she soon married. His stepfather was an immigrant from Portugal. The family was pious, so often visited the church. It was there still a girl Fitzgerald first heard church songs, which made a great impression on her.
Ella’s mother died in 1932. Until that time, the girl regularly attended school, was an exemplary student. Often, as a cheerful child, she danced and sang in the courtyard, giving improvised concerts for the kids. Ella managed to imitate the voices of the most popular singers. With friend Charles Gulliver, she enthusiastically danced the most fashionable dances. After Ella’s mother died, she moved to her aunt in Harlem. The girl dropped out of school and almost always disappeared on the street. In the evenings Fitzgerald moonlighted, dancing in clubs. This went on for two years, and in 1934 the girl left home
In the autumn of 1934, an amateur contest was held at the Apollo cinema, held by a disc jockey and commentator Ralf Cooper. Ella decided to take part in it as a dancer, but during preliminary listening it became clear that her rivals in the same role would be Edwards’ sisters, performing a duet and already known by that time. This was the reason that the girl decided to change the role, Ella sang.
The success was staggering. Two compositions were performed by her in such a strong voice that the stricken audience literally exploded with applause. During the performance she was accompanied by Benny Carter’s orchestra. Soon Ella again participated in the contest and again won. As a reward, she performed together with the orchestra Tini Brad-show for a week.
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