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Ella Centennial Bash

DATE: Saturday, April 29, 2017

LOCATION: HCC and The Log Cabin


Afternoon jazz vocal workshops will be followed in the evening with a 1940's themed Supper Club at The Log Cabin in Holyoke

Holyoke Community College will host a celebration in honor of the 100th birthday of jazz legend Ella Fitzgerald.

Tickets are now on sale for the The Ella Centennial Bash, which will be held on Sat., April 29, at HCC and The Log Cabin in Holyoke.

Festival organizer and HCC vocal instructor Ellen Cogen said it's hard to overemphasize the importance Ella Fitzgerald in the jazz pantheon.

"She is the iconic queen of vocal jazz," Cogen said. "Basically, every jazz singer is influenced by her, I'd say. I don't know anybody who's not. HCC has a very active jazz program, and it seemed like a nice way to honor her for her 100th birthday. We have a lot of very enthusiastic people who want to celebrate her."

The celebration will begin in the afternoon, from noon to 3:45 p.m. on campus at HCC with vocal jazz workshops conducted by HCC professor and celebration organizer Ellen Cogen and internationally acclaimed guest instructor Giacomo Gates, from Wesleyan University.

The workshops will be followed in the evening with a 1940's themed Supper Club at The Log Cabin in Holyoke. The Amherst Jazz Orchestra will accompany several local jazz vocalists and headliner Giacomo Gates and also play music for dancing.

Tickets for the evening event are $50 (including tax/tip), and include the following:

5:45 - 6:45 - Cocktail hour featuring the Paul Arslanian Trio accompanying young jazz vocalists. Cash bar and welcome spread.
6:45 - Seating for dinner/show
7:00 - 10:00 - Giacomo Gates sings and shares stories about Ella, accompanied by the Paul Arslanian Trio. Vocalists Marion Groves, Barbara Weene, Andrea Niki, Sarah Clay, Annie Patterson, Mary Witt, Samirah Evans, Carol Smith, and Leslie Alexandra McMahon will sing Ella's hits with the Amherst Jazz Orchestra. Ellen Cogen and John Mason present an Ella/Joe Pass feature. Carol Gus August and HCC vocalists present an Ella/Ink Spots feature.

Dinner will include a champagne toast, roasted shrimp with carrot/ginger slaw appetizer, choice of Chicken Diane or Grilled Marinated Zucchini with Quinoa, plus family style Focaccia Haddock, and a special dessert. (Special diets can be accommodated upon request.)
Period dress encouraged.

Dancing instruction provided by Stephen Bailey and Roxanne Bailey.

There is a separate fee of $50 to participate in the afternoon vocal workshops:

Vocal Workshop 1, 12 noon to 2 p.m.: The Jazz Ballad; Ellen Cogen instructor

Vocal Workshop 2: 2:15 to 3:45 p.m.: Improvisation/Scat Singing; Giacomo Gates instructor

To order tickets, please call Mary Starzyk at 413.552.2485.

For more information about the workshops or the evening event, contact Ellen Cogen at