Friday Sep 09 2022


7:30 pm





First Ladies of Jazz: A Celebration of Nations Program

๐Ÿ“… DATE: Friday, September 9, 2022
๐Ÿ•‘ TIME: 7:30 pm
๐ŸŸ๏ธ VENUE: FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre (Partridge Hall) - St. Catharines, ON
๐Ÿ’ต PRICE: Regular: $35; Member (PAC): $30; University/College: $25; High School/eyeGO: $5 - All tickets are subject to fees and HST

To donate and help support the festival:

Donations to the TD Niagara Jazz Festival (Registered Charity: #80107-7033-RR0001) help us continue to bring live music to Niagara and beyond. Thank you for supporting the arts!



The evening’s performance features:


House band features Joe Sealy on piano; Neil Swainson on bass; Terry Clarke on drums.

Opening Act:ย Sean Stanley on pianoย and vocals and accompanied byย Neil Swainson and Terry Clarke.

A hallmark of distinction in the world of jazz music is the assignment of royal titles to artists of stature. In this incredible concert experience, we honour Mildred Bailey (Queen of Swing), Billie Holiday (Lady Day), and Ella Fitzgerald (Queen of Jazz). Through their sophisticated jazz vocal stylings, they inspired and influenced generations of musicians creating indelible impressions that live on in the soundtracks of our lives.
As a partnership involving the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, Tim Johnson (Celebration of Nations), and the TD Niagara Jazz Festival, an ensemble of three sensational female vocalists backed by a world-class jazz band comprised of JUNO and Order of Canada recipients, take us on a journey that extends from the earliest jazz vocal renderings through the Great American Songbook. Along the way, audiences learn about the improvisational musical fusion that is jazz, developed by African American, American Indian, and European harmonic structures and rhythms.

Mildred Bailey (February 27, 1907 – December 12, 1951)
Mildred Bailey is perhaps the largest of the unsung heroines of this magnificent art form, and furthermore an obvious first choice for the First Ladies of Jazz production. From her youth Mildred accompanied her mother to Coeur d’Alene Indigenous ceremonies where she heard and practiced the traditional songs and lyrics that would shape her unique singing style. She was definitely well respected by her peers. Singers and musicians knew full well of her groundbreaking influence on jazz vocals and on musicians like Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, and others. The great Tony Bennett cites her as his biggest vocal inspiration, saying “From sixteen to twenty years old…the only thing I listened to was Mildred Bailey.”

Billie Holiday (April 7, 1915 – July 17, 1959)
For the nearly thirty years, up until her untimely death, Billie Holiday built a powerful and poignant career that left an amazing catalogue of pure genius. As a perfect fit for First Ladies of Jazz, her incredibly unique vocal sound and style has secured a place in all our hearts. Perhaps no other singer sang songs of heartache with more passion and real life experience as the immortal “Lady Day.” And to this day she remains one of the most admired singers in music history.

Ella Jane Fitzgerald (April 25, 1917 – June 15, 1996)
Ella Jane Fitzgerald is a jazz icon. Known for her impeccable tone, diction, phrasing, intonation, timing, and improvisational ability, she collaborated with the likes of Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and The Ink Spots while establishing a career of virtually unparalleled acclaim. Sometimes referred to as the “First Lady of Song,” “Queen of Jazz,” or “Lady Ella,” she came to embody the genre and in so doing became universally admired and loved. Perhaps her most distinctive title may be “Queen of Scat.” Ella wasnโ€™t just a virtuosic singer, as if that wasn’t enough. She wrote the book on SCAT!

ยฉ 2024 Niagara Jazz Festival