Respected jazz world personalities will be in Newark to celebrate Ella’s life and work. Tad Hershorn with the Institute of Jazz Studies Rutgers-Newark says a number of guests worked with the First Lady of Song.
“One is Richard Lyons of New York. He was a west coast player when he was her musical director for three months in 1956. Mike Wofford based in San Diego was her last accompanist for the remaining three years of her career,” said Hershorn.
Hershorn believes even the biggest fans will learn something new about her music.
“They’ll get to meet and speak with the people who are the presenters. I’m sure the presenters will learn a lot from the people who come. People who are speaking one way or another have paid their dues, but the fact is the vast majority of us were in audiences that loved her,” Hershorn said.
The two-day cELLAbration takes place at The Great Hall on Washington Street in downtown Newark on Friday March 24 and 25.
“She was always nervous before she went on stage as we are about any type of life experience we might even have a certain handle on. But when that music started, there she was, it was like watching your grandmother turn into Superwoman,” Hershorn said.
For a full list of speakers visit The Institute of Jazz Studies Rutgers-Newark website.