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NEA Jazz Master Ella Fitzgerald is Focus of "Women in Jazz Month" at AJM with Local, Regional and International Artists

SOURCE: Published: 2012-02-27
NEA Jazz Master Ella Fitzgerald is Focus of “Women in Jazz Month" at AJM with Local, Regional and International Artists

The theme for March is centered around Women in Jazz Month at the American Jazz Museum and The Blue Room performance calendar is literally packed with talent that showcases the continuing contributions of women within all aspects of perpetuating the jazz musical art form.

Deborah Brown will be “Celebrating Ella" with her performance on the first Saturday (3) and will also bring an intimate musical focus to the new Changing Gallery Exhibit: “Ella—First Lady of Song" that opens the evening before on Friday, March 2. Dubbed “The First Lady of Song," NEA Jazz Master, Ella Fitzgerald was the most popular female jazz singer in the United States for more than half a century. In her lifetime, she won 13 Grammy awards and sold over 40 million albums. In 1987, United States President Ronald Reagan awarded Ella the National Medal of Arts. It was one of her most prized moments. France followed suit several years later, presenting her with their Commander of Arts and Letters award, while Yale, Dartmouth and several other universities bestowed Ella with honorary doctorates.

A new and exciting vocal group, named Book of Gaia, will make its debut in The Blue Room (23). I had the pleasure of hearing this group perform last year on November 19th during the Live at the Hollywood Theater concert series in Leavenworth. The members of Book of Gaia are all great artists, well produced as a cohesive group and sure to be a hit. Book of Gaia features Pam Baskin-Watson, Angela Hagenbach and Nedra Dixon with Karita Carter.

The list of women artists featured during the month of March in The Blue Room highlights the fact that there is an enormous wealth of local, regional and international talent largely based out of Kansas City. Each day of the month brings out the stars, including: Julie Turner, Lori Tucker, Lady D, Denise Thimes, Lisa Henry, Darcus Gates, Angela Ward, Megan Birdsall, Kathleen Holman, Shay Estes, Miss B and Stephanie Moore. And, the marvelous Ida McBeth will be returning to The Blue Room for one special show in March (30).


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