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Ella at 100 Birthday Celebration

Posted at 2:34 PM, Apr 06, 2017


"Ella at 100" – An evening of Jazz to celebrate the 100th birthday of Ella Fitzgerald, a Newport News native. The special performance is presented by The Richmond Jazz Society and Virginia Repertory Theatre Tuesday, April 25, at 7:00 P.M. at the Sara Belle and Neil November Theatre, 114 West Broad Street. Hundreds of other events are taking place around the world to celebrate her legacy. The Richmond event falls on Fitzgerald’s actual birthday April 25, 1917.

The performance showcases Ella's music and life during her heyday. Music Director and saxophonist, James “Saxsmo” Gates will lead the all-star jazz orchestra of fourteen that include award-winning Jazz singer and actor, Desirée Roots as Ella Fitzgerald, Scott Wichmann as Frank Sinatra, Billy Dye as Louis Armstrong, and Anthony Cosby as Nat “King” Cole. Musicians include some of Richmond’s finest, Piano - Dr. W. Weldon Hill, Bass - Michael Hawkins, Drums - Billy Williams, Guitar - Carl Lester El; Saxophones; James "Saxsmo" Gates. Dexter Moses; Kevin Simpson, Stephen Norfleet; Trumpets:, Victor Haskins, Keith Willingham; Trombones: Chris Leitch, Charles Newton and Philip Jones.

For tickets call the Box Office 804-282-2620 or visit Tickets are $35 to $100, a limited number of  Patron Tickets are available for $250, this includes a reception with Desiree and band on stage after the show. The event will raise funds to support the community programs of Richmond Jazz Society and Virginia Rep.

Richmond Jazz Society has joined the world-wide celebration of Virginia native Ella Fitzgerald and the 100th anniversary of her birth. The centennial celebration is sponsored by the Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation. The series will feature vocalists paying tribute to “The First Lady of Song”. All shows are at Capital Ale House, Downtown Music Hall, 623 East Main Street, Richmond. For more information visit or contact RJS 804-643-1972. April 11, at 7pm, Pianist/vocalist Connie Parker; May 9, at 7pm & 9:15pm - Jazz music’s rising star Veronica Swift; June 13, at 7pm & 9:15pm, Jazz vocalist Eve Cornelious.