The Houston Symphony will kick off the 2017-18 BBVA Compass POPS Series with Ella at 100, a celebration of jazz icon Ella Fitzgerald during her 100th birthday year. Led by Principal POPS Conductor Steven Reineke in the first concert of his inaugural season, the program will feature Fitzgerald favorites including “Dream a Little Dream of Me,” “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)” and “Summertime.”
Powerhouse vocalists Montego Glover, Capathia Jenkins, and N’Kenge will join Reineke and the orchestra for all three performances. A 2010 Tony nominee for her starring role as Felicia Farrell in Memphis, Glover and has collaborated with several orchestras including the New York Pops, Philadelphia Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. She will be joined by Jenkins, an American singer/actress best known for her work as a Broadway performer and who was recently seen on The Wiz Live!, a new adaptation of the 1975 Broadway musical that aired on NBC. N’Kenge appeared with the Houston Symphony in February 2017 for R&B Mixtape and originated the role of Mary Wells in Broadway’s smash hit Motown: The Musical.
Fitzgerald rose to fame as the lead singer for bandleader and jazz drummer Chick Webb in the 1930s. She earned the nicknames “First Lady of Song” and “Queen of Jazz” as audiences fell in love with her unique voice and improvisational abilities. She ended her 59-year performing career with her last public performance in 1993 and passed away in 1996.
The concert will take place at Jones Hall for the Performing Arts, 615 Louisiana Street, in Houston’s Theater District. For tickets and information, please call (713) 224-7575 or visit www.houstonsymphony.org. Tickets may also be purchased at the Houston Symphony Patron Services Center in Jones Hall (Monday–Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.). All programs and artists are subject to change.