Jessica Nicholas:

Ella's Centenary

Ella Fitzgerald 16by9
Page added Mar 3, 2017 Updated Mar 13, 2017

On this special International Women's Day 2017 broadcast, we celebrate the centenary of jazz legend Ella Fitzgerald, who was born in 1917.

Playlist Information

A playlist and listen-again audio are available for 1 month by clicking the play button above after the broadcast.

Join Jessica Nicholas for a special Wednesday edition of her show for International Women's Day. She will be spinning music from vocalist Ella Fitzgerald, who was born almost 100 years ago in April 1917.

One of the foundational early female singers in jazz, Fitzgerald rose to prominence in the early 30s, making a rather famous debut at the equivalent of an open-mic night at the Apollo Theatre. From there, her career blossomed: she went on to work with Chick Webb - and after he passed away in 1939, she took on the role of leading his old ensemble. A long and fruitful solo career would ensue - and she would appear alongside greats like Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Frank Sinatra and Antonio Carlos Jobim, and was also credited as one of the first vocalists to improvise and scat.

We'll hear some of her classic performances on this playlist - as well as a plethora of other great female artists. And, if you're on social media, don't forget to use the hashtags #IWDABC and #BeBoldForChange, as the ABC focuses on the need for a shift in gender equality and attitudes in all communities.

Presented by Jessica Nicholas
Image: William P. Gotlieb/Library of Congress
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Listen again

Ella's Centenary


Mar 8, 2017. 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Mar 12, 2017. 12:00pm - 2:00pm

More episodes of Jessica Nicholas

Artist Biography


Ella Jane Fitzgerald (April 25, 1917 - June 15, 1996) was an American jazz singer often referred to as the First Lady of Song, Queen of Jazz and Lady Ella. She was noted for her purity of tone, impeccable diction, phrasing and intonation, and a "horn-like" improvisational ability, particularly in her scat singing. After tumultuous teenage years, Fitzgerald found stability in musical success with...

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