Skip to page content
  • WDCH
  • TRIBUTE TO ELLA CELEBRATES ELLA FITZGERALD’S 90th BIRTHDAY YEAR WITH A BIG BAND AND SPECIAL GUEST VOCALISTS
  • Mar. 2, 2008
  • Music Director and Host Patrice Rushen Joins Special Guest Vocalists Ann Hampton Callaway, T.C. Carson, Ledisi, Mark Murphy and Janis Siegel

    SUNDAY, MARCH 2, 2008, AT 7:30 PM

    Acura is the Sponsor for the Concert - All Acura Vehicles Park Free for the Evening

    The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association’s 2007/2008 Jazz Series continues on Sunday, March 2, at 7:30 p.m. with A Tribute to Ella, an evening that celebrates Ella Fitzgerald’s 90th birthday year. Special guest vocalists Ann Hampton Callaway, T.C. Carson, Ledisi, Mark Murphy, Janis Siegel and music director Patrice Rushen join a swingin’ big band for a special program dedicated to the First Lady of Song.

    Ella Fitzgerald is considered the most influential jazz vocalist of the 20th century. Her first recording, Love and Kisses, was made on June 12, 1935 with band leader Chick Webb. It was the beginning of a recording career that would span 57 years, produce over 200 albums, and infuse the world of jazz with an incomparable scat singing style still unmatched today.

    Ella Fitzgerald influenced generations of artists including composer, producer, and recording artist Patrice Rushen, who serves as music director for A Tribute to Ella. “Ella Fitzgerald has been an inspiration to me in so many ways,” says Rushen. “Her voice always attracted me because of its purity, clarity and feeling. As I learned more about music and jazz in particular, I learned to appreciate even more the greatness of her musicality and innovative creativity. I have the utmost respect and admiration for Ella, as she transcended gender bias, and racial bias with her artistry during an era when it was the norm to be held back by the shackles of limitations. I am honored to have been chosen to play such a significant role as music director and host of this tribute to one of the greatest musical talents of all time.”

    Ann Hampton Callaway, one of the most acclaimed singers in contemporary music, makes her debut at Walt Disney Concert Hall for this special tribute. Callaway has dazzled music lovers as a pianist, composer, lyricist, arranger, actress and educator. Her talents have made her equally at home in jazz and pop as well as on stage. In 1996, Callaway delivered an exemplary tribute to Ella Fitzgerald with her release To Ella With Love.

    T.C. Carson may be best known for his 5-year stint on the popular television show Living Single, but his first love is singing. His powerful baritone is colorful and rich, and his vocal stylings honor legend Al Jarreau. On his debut release, Truth, Carson co-wrote and co-produced all 14 tracks. Carson also recently assembled a quartet of talent musicians called the T.C. Carson Project.

    Ledisi mixes R&B, jazz, gospel, pop, rock and scatting to produce a vocal style that garnered a 2008 Grammy nomination for Best New Artist and Best R&B Album for her third studio album Lost & Found. Billboard called Ledisi “one of the Top 10 Faces to Watch in 2007.” Ledisi performed for the PBS special We All Love Ella.

    Music and singing legend Mark Murphy also debuts at Walt Disney Concert Hall in A Tribute to Ella. Discovered by Sammy Davis Jr. in 1953 at a jam session, Murphy’s prolific 40-year recording career that followed was spent mastering and reinventing jazz standards. Murphy has received widespread acclaim for his vocalese and vocal improvisations. All About Jazz calls Murphy “one of the most distinctive jazz singers in the music’s history.”

    Janis Siegel, the undeniable force in The Manhattan Transfer’s diverse musical catalog, has sustained a solo career that has spawned a large international fan base and garnered high critical praise. Like Fitzgerald, Siegel delivers classic standards redefined as her own. Jazz Times describes Siegel as having “remarkable pipes, clear articulation, elastic range and [an] inherent urge to swing.”

    The Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Jazz Series, under the guidance of Creative Chair for Jazz Christian McBride, offers a four-concert series featuring major artists from the world of jazz. The remainder of the 2007/08 season includes: Bobby McFerrin/Chick Corea/Jack DeJohnette on April 16, 2008; and The Movement Revisited with Christian McBride on May 16, 2008.

    ANN HAMPTON CALLAWAY has paved her own path as a singer, pianist, songwriter, and actress. Her talents have made her equally at home in the worlds of jazz, pop, and cabaret as well as on stage, in the recording studio, and on television. She has won a diverse fan-base including such notables as Barbra Streisand, Clive Davis, Carly Simon, and Wynton Marsalis. Callaway has recorded more than 40 CDs as a soloist and guest artist. As a leading interpreter of the Great American Songbook, Callaway was the first person granted permission by Cole Porter's estate to write music for a previously unrecorded Porter lyric, "I Gaze in Your Eyes." In 2000 she garnered a Tony Award nomination for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for the Broadway hit Swing!. Callaway recently made her screen debut in the independent film Volare and is preparing to host a new TV series. The multi-platinum and award-winning songwriter proves that her evolution is continuous with her newest project, Slow. Her debut recording for Shanachie Entertainment, showcasing her compositional chops and impressive lyrical sensibilities, includes two collaborations with pop icon Carole King. JazzReview.com raves about Callaway’s 2006 release on Telarc, Blues in the Night, “This is a highly recommended jazz vocals CD. It comes alive with feeling, and intelligence! There is not a wasted note anywhere! Each performer is in top form, and this is a delightful collection to listen to. Get a copy for yourself and a friend. Well worth your time!”

    T.C. CARSON is a rarity in the entertainment business. His versatility as an actor is well-known, but sometimes overshadows his singing. On his CD, Truth, Carson co-wrote and co-produced all 14 tracks with bassist Andre Cymone. He has produced and performed concerts in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, DC, and Atlanta to full houses, both as a solo artist and accompanied by Patrice Rushen. His acting career is rooted in dramatic and musical theatre. Carson has performed/appeared on stage in plays and musicals such as Hair, The Colored Museum, The Wiz, Dreamgirls, Ain't Misbehavin', Gospel at Colonus and Once on This Island. Film credits include the 20th Century Fox military thriller U-571, and the cult-favorites Final Destination 2 and Living Large. But he is best known as the charismatic Kyle Barker on the television series Living Single. His five-year engagement on the show earned him a 1998 and 1997 NAACP IMAGE award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series. Carson’s voice is heard in a truly diverse number of settings including the roles of Mailman Carson, Fire chief Campbell and Samuel on the family-friendly television series Clifford the Big Red Dog, to the voice of Mace Windu in Sci-fi video games Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith (2005), Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2002), and the voice of God in The God of War (2005).

    LEDISI is a galvanizing, all-natural wonder. This year, during a gala Songwriters' Hall of Fame ceremony, an A-list of show business veterans could hardly wait for Ledisi's rapturous rendition of "Unchained Melody" to end before lavishing her with thunderous applause. In 2006, before a rapt contingent of music business mavens at the Urban Network conference, Ledisi brought an audience of astute professionals to its feet with an amazing a cappella performance of the Beatles' "Yesterday." Then there was the PBS televised tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, We All Love Ella, where no less than Quincy Jones introduced her to the stage where she proceeded to belt out a show-stealing version of "Blues in the Night" that she later recorded for the companion CD with the great Phil Ramone producing. Three years in the making, her third album, the 16-track Lost and Found is the album destined to usher a deserving talent into some well-earned limelight.

    MARK MURPHY’S original lyrics to “Stolen Moments,” “Red Clay” and more are known the world over. His innovative projects range from the work of Nat “King” Cole to Jack Kerouac to Ivan Lins to Eddie Jefferson. Murphy’s recording career began at the age of 24 with his first release, Meet Mark Murphy. In 1958, Murphy moved to Los Angeles and recorded three albums for Capitol Records. He returned to New York in the early ‘60s and did the classic jazz recording Rah. Mark’s favorite recording to date, That’s How I Love the Blues, soon followed. In 1963, Murphy hit the charts across the country with his single of “Fly Me To the Moon” and was voted “New Star of the Year” in Downbeat Magazine’s Reader’s Poll. In the late 1960s, Murphy moved to London where he worked primarily as an actor. He continued however, to cultivate his jazz audience in Europe and recorded three albums, Mark Time!), Who Can I Turn To? and Midnight Mood. He returned to the States in 1972 and began recording an average of an album a year for over fourteen years on the Muse label. These projects, including the highly acclaimed Nat King Cole Songbook Vol. I and II, Bop for Kerouac I and II, Living Room, Satisfaction Guaranteed, Beauty and the Beast and his classic, Stolen Moments, garnered widespread critical acclaim and numerous Grammy nominations.

    PATRICE RUSHEN was the first woman to serve as Musical Director for the 46th, 47th & 48th Annual Grammy Awards, the first woman in 43 years to serve as Head Composer/Musical Director for television’s highest honor, the Emmy Awards, and the first woman Musical Director of the NAACP Image Awards, an honor she held for 12 consecutive years. In 1998, she received a Grammy nomination for her adult contemporary CD, Signature. Rushen receives some 30 requests weekly to use her music for samples, especially for rap albums. Many more performers have scored their own hits using samples from Patrice’s songs. Most notably is the smash hit “Men in Black.” The song was sampled from Patrice’s 1982 Grammy nominated recording, “Forget Me Nots.” Rushen is also an accomplished composer providing musical scores for television movies and series, and feature films. Rushen has performed with Philharmonic Orchestras and has written an award-winning symphony. She has 14 solo albums to her credit and a greatest hits anthology released on Rhino Records in 1997.

    Over the past three decades, the voice of JANIS SIEGEL - a nine-time Grammy winner and a 17-time Grammy nominee - has been an undeniable force as part of The Manhattan Transfer. Alongside her career as a member of this 30-year musical institution, Siegel has also sustained a solo career that has spawned a half dozen finely-crafted solo albums and numerous collaborative projects, amassed a large international fan base, and garnered consistently high critical praise. Diversity has been a hallmark of Siegel's career. Some of her favorite collaborations have been with Turkish modern classical composer Ilhan Mimaroglu and the Beaux Arts String Quartet in a musical and spoken word project called Like There's Tomorrow, as well as projects with Richie Cole, Jay McShann, Lew Soloff, Robert Kraft, and Leon Ware. She also was a happy participant in A Tribute to the Carpenters on King Records in 1998, sang a duet ("Two For The Blues") with Natalie Cole on Cole's 1996 release, Stardust, and was a featured vocalist on Circlesongs, Bobby McFerrin's multi-layered world/jazz effort of 1997. Siegel has also appeared on a number of motion picture soundtracks (Swing Kids, A League of Their Own, Dick Tracy and others) and performed with classical violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg and the Concordia Orchestra at Alice Tully Hall in 1998. For her ninth solo release, A Thousand Beautiful Things, Siegel embellishes contemporary pop songs with Latin American flavor.

    The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, under Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen, presents the finest in orchestral and chamber music, recitals, new music, jazz, world music and holiday concerts at two of the most remarkable places anywhere to experience music — Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Hollywood Bowl. In addition to a 30-week winter subscription season at Walt Disney Concert Hall, the LA Phil presents a 12-week summer festival at the legendary Hollywood Bowl, summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and home of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. In fulfilling its commitment to the community, the Association’s involvement with Los Angeles extends to educational programs, community concerts and children's programming, ever seeking to provide inspiration and delight to the broadest possible audience.

    EDITORS PLEASE NOTE:

    SUNDAY, MARCH 2, 2008, at 7:30 PM


    WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL, 111 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles



    Jazz Series



    A Tribute to Ella



    Patrice Rushen, music director and host

    Ann Hampton Callaway, vocalist

    T.C. Carson, vocalist

    Ledisi, vocalist

    Mark Murphy, vocalist

    Janis Siegel, vocalist



    Acura is the sponsor for the concert - all Acura vehicles park free for the evening.

    Tickets ($35-95) are on sale now online at LAPhil.com, at the Walt Disney Concert Hall Box Office, or via credit card phone order at 323.850.2000. A limited number of $10 rush tickets for seniors and full-time students may be available at the Walt Disney Concert Hall Box Office two hours prior to the performance. Valid identification is required; one ticket per person; cash only. Groups of 10 or more may be eligible for special discounts for selected concerts and seating areas. For information, please call 323.850.2000.

    # # #

  • contact:

    Adam Crane, 213.972.3422, acrane@laphil.org; Lisa Bellamore, 213.972.3689, lbellamore@laphil.org; Lisa White, 213.972.3408, lwhite@laphil.org; Photos: 213.972.3034