“Ella Fitzgerald” by Kate Shaffer
Artist: Kate Shaffer
Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 36″ x 24″
Description: Ella Fitzgerald born in 1917. At age 15 not long after the death of her mother from injuries sustained in a car accident, Ella moved to Harlem to live with an aunt. She had a tumultuous adolescence and toyed with a rather shady lifestyle working as a lookout for a bordello and with a Mafia associated group. She was arrested and sent to a reform school which she eventually escaped from and remained homeless for a time. Ella survived during this time singing on the streets. Her big break came when she went to an amateur night audition at the Apollo Theater at age 17. She was going to dance, but when the girls in front of her danced she decided to sing instead. Ella won the chance to perform at the Apollo for a week, but because of her disheveled appearance, she was denied the opportunity. A year later she won the opportunity to sing at the Harlem Opera House where she met Chick Webb. He was reluctant to sign her because of her homeless look. He decided to take a chance on her, cleaned her up and let her sing. Ella never looked back. She has sung with greats from every era and genre. Jazz, Pop, Soul, Blues she could do it all. She is known for her purity of tone, diction, and intonation which elevated and allowed her to cross over into the contemporary music genre. She is known as the Queen of Jazz and the First Lady of Song. She died after a stellar 54 year solo career.
Commission a smaller version, 16×20 for $700 each.