NEW YORK, April 25, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- On the 65th floor at the iconic Rainbow Room, with an expansive view of the city where Ella Fitzgerald got her first big break and performed her last public concert, the singer's 100th birthday was celebrated. Verve Label Group, in partnership with the Mayor's office, hosted a proclamation ceremony this morning to honor this beloved musical icon on her 100th birthday by naming it "Ella Fitzgerald Day," in New York City. 19-time Grammy winner Tony Bennett joined to acknowledge his dear friend and colleague, commenting, "Ella sang every note with her heart," and closing the ceremony with a rendition of "Our Love Is Here To Stay." Vocal students from Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, which Tony Bennett founded in his hometown of Astoria, Queens, opened the Rainbow Room event with "Blue Skies," a favorite Ella recording.
Danny Bennett, CEO and President of Verve Label Group acknowledged Ella Fitzgerald's unique relationship with New York City where she first received public acclaim by winning Amateur Night at the Apollo Theatre in 1934 and performing her last public concert at Carnegie Hall in 1991. Danny Bennett commented, "A year ago, I was asked to take over at the helm of Verve which was founded by Ella's longtime manager Norman Granz, who created Verve Records in 1955 to provide a nurturing and supportive home for Ella's recording career but also to foster jazz artists and this great American-born musical genre. I am truly humbled to now be the keeper of the flame and contributing to shine a well-deserved light on artists of the magnitude of Ella Fitzgerald." Verve just released several re-issues of Ella's most beloved recordings including a 4-CD set of 100 Songs For A Centennial, and a 6-LP vinyl reissue of Ella Sings The George & Ira Gerswhin Songbook. Later in the year Verve will release a new album featuring Fitzgerald's classic vocal recordings accompanied by new orchestral arrangements by the London Symphony Orchestra.
Commissioner Julie Menin, from the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment presented the official proclamation to Richard Rosman and Fran Morris-Rosman, of the Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation, and reading from the Proclamation, stated, "New York has a long and proud tradition of attracting talented performing artists from around the world, and a standout among them is Ella Fitzgerald, a legendary jazz vocalist who captivated audiences with her distinctive style and incredible talents. Ella has gone down in history as one of the greatest entertainers of all time, and her story and career have continued to inspire singers and performers across our city and far beyond. Together with the Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation, and her legions of fans around the world, I am proud to join in celebrating Ella's 100th birthday. Now therefore, I, Bill de Blasio, Mayor of the City of New York, do hereby proclaim Tuesday, April 25th, 2017 in the city of New York as: Ella Fitzgerald Day." Tony Bennett presented the Foundation with a framed print of his portrait of Ella Fitzgerald, the original of which is in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institution.
Starbucks will celebrate Ella Fitzgerald's 100th birthday and musical legacy on April 25th by declaring it "Ella Day," playing her recorded songs in all locations nationwide. Ella Fitzgerald was born on April 25, 1917 and was known as the "First Lady of Song." She received 13 Grammy Awards, was a Kennedy Center Honoree and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of the Arts.
About Verve Label Group:
A division of Universal Music Group based in New York City, Verve Label Group (VLG) is home to the world's most prestigious record labels in jazz, classical, alternative and popular music. Verve Records, founded in 1956, holds the world's richest jazz catalogue and features seminal recordings from legendary artists including Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, Stan Getz and Billie Holiday among others. Verve also served as the original home of pioneering acts The Velvet Underground and Frank Zappa. The revitalized Verve Records is once again home to a wealth of historic imprints including Verve Forecast (Richie Havens, Laura Nero, Captain Beefheart), Blue Thumb (T-Rex, Ike and Tina Turner, Pointer Sisters, Dave Mason), Impulse! (John Coltrane, Charles Mingus), Decca Records and Decca Broadway. The present roster includes Diana Krall, Ledisi, Yuna, Barry Manilow, Miles Mosley, Sarah McLachlan, and Michelle Branch.
About Commissioner Julie Menin:
Julie Menin is the Commissioner of the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment, an agency encompassing the key economic and creative sectors of film, TV, theater, music, advertising, publishing, digital content and real estate as it relates to these industries. In total, these portfolios account for over 305,000 jobs in New York City and $104 billion in economic output. Commissioner Menin also oversees NYC Media, the largest municipal broadcasting entity in the country including five TV Stations and a radio station with a reach of 18 million households and a 50-mile radius. In addition to promoting economic development in all five boroughs through expanding the creative sector, Commissioner Menin has launched a number of groundbreaking initiatives to promote both diversity and equality in the entertainment fields.
About The Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation:
The Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation was created and funded in 1993 by Ella Fitzgerald, the First Lady of Song, in order to fulfill her desires to use the fruits of her success to help people of all races, cultures and beliefs. Ella hoped to make their lives more rewarding, and she wanted to foster a love of reading, as well as a love of music. In addition, she hoped to provide assistance to the at-risk and disadvantaged members of our communities - assistance that would enable them to achieve a better quality of life. The Board of Directors of the Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation seeks to continue Ella Fitzgerald's goals by making charitable grants serving four major areas of interest: creating educational and other opportunities for children; fostering a love and knowledge of music, including assistance to students of music: the provision of health care, food, shelter and counseling to those in need as well as supporting specific areas of medical care and research with an emphasis on Diabetes, vision problems and heart disease. The Foundation makes grants to promote a love of music, to provide music education for children and young adults, and to provide exposure to the joys and beauty of music for children and adults. In making all the above-mentioned grants, the Board of Directors strives to fulfill the charitable goals established by the beloved First Lady of Song, Miss Ella Fitzgerald.
About Rainbow Room:
Quintessential New York glamour finds its home 65 stories above the landmark Rockefeller Center. Crowning the timeless Manhattan skyline, the iconic Rainbow Room offers a modern twist on classic old-world charm, tailoring special moments for private events and Sunday brunch. Since its debut in 1934, the Rainbow Room has drawn the world's elite to its curated, elevated and glamorous luxury. First operating as a formal supper club, the venue quickly became a New York City entertainment focal point. The Rainbow Room name was inspired by the installation of a color organ that automatically converted music into changing colors in harmony with the moods expressed by the music. To mirror this effect, crystal curtains were added to the newly restored Rainbow Room to create a light shimmering veil at the windows without hindering the view. In 2012, the New York Landmarks Preservation Commission declared Rainbow Room a New York City. Rainbow Room is one of the few interior landmarks found in New York City.
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