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Ella at 100

The classic jazz community is celebrating the centennial of Ella Fitzgerald, who was born on April 25, 1917. Fitzgerald, along with Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughan, were the queens of American music during the middle part of the 20th century.

Here is a nice bio of Fitzgerald from a site dedicated to her. The site also lists 17 Ella-themed memorial concert events throughout the year. NPR offers an appreciation.

Two albums have been released by The Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation, Verve Label Group and UMe. The three, operating as Ella 100, last month released Ella Fitzgerald Sings The George and Ira Gershwin Song Books and 100 Songs For A Centennial. Other events, according to the press release, include an exhibit at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

Above is Lullaby of Birdland. Her band was one for the ages: Ray Brown (bass), Oscar Peterson (piano), Papa Jo Jones (drums), Herb Ellis (guitar) and Roy Eldridge (trumpet). Below is a beautiful duet with Louis Armstrong on Dream a Little Dream of Me.

Mental Floss offers 10 interesting facts about Fitzgerald, along with great photos. Also check out a famous clip of Fitzgerald driving home Mack the Knife. Watch her arm.