Schenectady, NY, July 17, 2012--Speaking as a guest on Schenectady TODAY with Capital Rep’s producing Artistic Director Maggie Mancinelli-Cahill earlier this morning, GEORGE CALDWELL, musical director or ELLA, cited American author and esteemed music critic Will Friedwald(born 1961), when asked what special quality elevated Ella Fitzgerald to the status of First Lady of Song. Fitzgerald will be remembered and celebrated at Albany’s Capital Repertory Theatre in the acclaimed musical ELLA, starring multiaward-winning Broadway veteran Tina Fabrique. Previews start July 20 - 22, with Opening Night on Tuesday, July 24 and performances through August 12, 2012.
“Unlike any other singer you could name, Fitzgerald has the most amazing asset in the very sound of her voice: it's easily one of the most beautiful and sonically perfect sounds known to man. Even if she couldn't do anything with it, the instrument that Fitzgerald starts with is dulcet and pure and breathtakingly beautiful. As Henry Pleasants has observed, she has a wider range than most opera singers, and many of the latter, including Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, are among her biggest fans. And the intonation that goes with the voice is, to put it conservatively, God-like. Fitzgerald simply exists in tune, and she hits every note that there is without the slightest trace of effort. Other singers tend to sound like they're trying to reach up to a note - Fitzgerald always sounds like she's already there. If anything, she's descending from her heavenly perch and swooping down to whatever pitch she wants.”(source:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ella_Fitzgerald)
George Caldwell(Pianist / Musical Director)Mr. Caldwell is a veteran of Broadway having worked on Black and Blueand Play On!, as well as having served in orchestra pits for Bring In ‘Da Noise, Bring In ‘Da Funk, The Full Monty, etc. In addition to providing musical direction for the European tour of Black and Blueand serving as associate conductor for the tour of Body and Soulin Europe, Caldwell has toured regionally, including serving as musical director for the original musicals Thunder Knocking on the Door, Golden Boyat Long Wharf, and productions of Cookin’ at the Cookery. Caldwell also played for three years with the Duke Ellington orchestra, and seven years with the Count Basie orchestra. The Basie Orchestra received a Grammy award with Caldwell at the piano for the recording ‘The Count Basie Orchestra Live at the Manchestra Craftsman’s Guild (with the New York Voices). He has performed with many artists, performers as diverse as George Benson, Savion Glover, Lou Rawls, Elvis Costello, Art Blakey, Shirley Bassey, Freda Payne, Wynton Marsalis, Lionel Hampton, the Manhattan Transfer, Bobby McFerrin, Al Jarreau, The Coasters, Cab Calloway, Quincy Jones, Gregory Hines, Dizzy Gillespie and Brenda Lee. Caldwell has played and conducted Ella since it’s inception.
It's 1966 and the first lady of song Ella Fitzgerald, performed by the incomparable Broadway veteran Tina Fabrique, is preparing for one of the most important concerts of her career.
Before the night is over she will jam with Louis Armstrong, reflect on her life and love of music and bring the house down with soulful song, swinging scat and scintillating hits like "A Tisket, A Tasket," "How High the Moon," "That Old Black Magic" and "They Can't Take That Away From Me".