Svenska Stjärnor - Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald
The Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra meets some of the country’s foremost pop, rock and jazz artists in collaborations that cross borders. Hear your favourite musicians like never before, alongside all of Sweden’s symphony orchestra! Programme and performers to be announced later.
April 25th, 2017 would have been legendary jazz star Ella Fitzgerald’s 100th birthday. Berwaldhallen celebrates with a concert that focusses on her interpretations of songs from George and Ira Gershwin’s musical riches.
Being one of the 20th century’s greatest singers, Ella Fitzgerald (1917 – 1996) held the honorary title The First Lady of Jazz.
Her repertoire included a lot of music from The Great American Songbook, i.e. the most important and influential songs from the American musical flora of the early 20th century.
She sang a lot of Gershwin, who also composed orchestral music with a touch of jazz. So when conductor Anders Berglund, who is also artistically responsible, was tasked with putting the concert together, he chose the large box of Gershwin music that Ella released in 1959, arranged by another jazz legend, namely Nelson Riddle, who was also behind many of Frank Sinatra’s songs.
“It’s going to be a sort of Gershwin songbook,” promises Anders Berglund, who says that they have been lent some of the songs’ original arrangements by the Arizona library that administrates Riddle’s musical treasure chest.
“That’s very valuable in the context, and it may also be the first time that the original versions are heard live in Sweden.”
A trio of some of Sweden’s most talented female jazz singers will be on stage, accompanied by the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and reinforcements from a saxophone and comp section, brought in especially for this event.
“We have three fantastic singers who are all based in jazz, but in different ways: Rigmor Gustafsson – one of Sweden’s best jazz singers, Sharon Dyall who has also performed a lot of musicals, and Ellen Andersson, jazz singer on the way up, and 2017’s winner of the Jazzkatten Award, who has adopted some of Ella’s style when it comes to scat singing, a skill not mastered by many people in Sweden.”
You’re now celebrating that Ella Fitzgerald would have been 100 years old until her birthday on April 25th, 2018. What significance do you think she has for the jazz singers of today?
“She has been incredibly influential. Not just jazz singers. Everyone has listened to Ella Fitzgerald.”
Text: Ylva Lagercrantz Spindler
The Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra serves as a symphony orchestra for the whole of Sweden. Regardless of where you live you can listen to the orchestra’s concerts through the Swedish Radio’s broadcasts or on their website, and several concerts are also shown on Swedish Television. The Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra is one of the best and most versatile orchestras in Europe – perhaps even in the world. Every year they perform well-loved works from the classical repertoire as well as new music by exciting contemporary composers such as Victoria Borisova-Ollas, Magnus Lindberg and Unsuk Chin. In addition they perform music from popular films and computer and video games and collaborate with leading jazz, pop and rock artists in a constant endeavour to develop and to break new ground.
Ellen Andersson, born 1991 in Linköping, has established herself as one of the most prominent jazz singers in Sweden in a very short period of time. The debut album ”I’ll Be Seeing You” (2016) was celebrated by the reviewers and was awarded in April 2017 the Orkesterjournal award ”Gyllene Skivan” for the best Swedish jazz release.
With great love for the American standard repertoire, Ellen Andersson moves seamlessly between intimate and grand, serious and playful, written and improvised, with a high degree of musical integrity.
In October 2017, the group Ellen Andersson Quartet was awarded Sweden Radio´s P2 award ”Jazzkatten” in the category Newcomer of the Year.