Concord Jazz celebrates the music and life of the “First Lady of Song,” Ella Fitzgerald with the release of Ella 100: Live at the Apollo! Recorded live at the storied Harlem N.Y. venue in front of an ecstatic audience, the concert and recording, produced by the eight-time Grammy and Emmy Award recipient and former Fitzgerald musician Gregg Field, features dynamic and loving tributes from a parade of contemporary vocal and musical giants and co-hosted by Grammy award winner Patti Austin and the multi-Tony award nominated actor/singer David Alan Grier.

In addition to Austin and Grier, the concert features performances by Andra Day, Ledisi, Lizz Wright, Cassandra Wilson, Monica Mancini and the award-winning a cappella vocal group from Howard University, Afro Blue. Accompanying these world-class vocalists is none other than the Count Basie Orchestra and strings, so effectively presenting the music of Ella and the renowned orchestra with whom Ella so often collaborated. Also featured, and to celebrate Ella’s famous quartet, is the deeply swinging Ella 100 All-Star Quartet with Shelly Berg, Nathan East, Brian Nova and Field, who channel the spontaneous spirit direct from Ella.

At just 17, Ella entered the famous Apollo Amateur Contest to dance but made a last instant and fateful decision to sing for the notoriously difficult-to-please Apollo Amateur Night crowd. Her shockingly original and vibrant delivery of Hoagy Carmichael’s “Judy” with a range and depth simply unheard-of-especially from one so young-brought the house down, thus launching a remarkable career that changed 20th Century music and has not been equaled to this day.