Jan Konop Big Band, fot. Magdalena Rosman

Ella Fitzgerald’s 100 birthday | Jan Konop Big Band

Truly the First Lady of Song, Ella Fitzgerald was one of the greatest singers in American history.

As her official website perfectly states, “Her voice was flexible, wide-ranging, accurate, and ageless. She could sing sultry ballads, sweet jazz, and imitate every instrument in an orchestra.” She enthralled audiences all over the world for decades, worked with everyone from Duke, Dizzy, and Count Basie to Nat King Cole and Sinatra, and left a recorded legacy that is second to none.

Born Ella Jane Fitzgerald on April 25, 1917 in Newport News, Virginia, Ella endured some rough times as a child. Following the split of her parents, she moved with her mother to Yonkers, NY, and sadly lost her mother at age 15. Fighting poverty, Ella eventually used these difficult times as motivation in life, and continued to harbor dreams of being an entertainer. She made her public singing debut at the Apollo Theater in Harlem on November 21, 1934 at age 17. Buoyed by her success, she continued to enter and win singing contests, and soon was singing with Chick Webb’s band. In 1938 she quickly gained acclaim with her version of A-Tisket, A Tasket, which was a huge success and made her famous at age 21; for over 50 years she remained a star.

During the concert in the Gdańsk Shakespeare Theatre the songs of Ella Fitzgerald will be presented by four talented singers: Joanna Knitter, Jolanta Szczepaniak, Magdalena Wilento and Izabela Krasucka accompanied by Jan Konop Big Band.


Joanna Knitter – vocal
Jolanta Szczepaniak – vocal
Magdalena Wilento – vocal
Izabela Krasucka – vocal
Jan Konop – conductor


Saxophones: Michał Jan Ciesielski – alto, flute; Aleksander Kamiński – alto, clarinet; Szymon Łukowski – tenor, clarinet; Marcin Stefaniak – tenor, klarnet; Łukasz Juźko – baritone.
Trombones: Paweł Niewiadomski, Łukasz Rakalski, Artur Ostrowski, Dawid Klahs – bass.
Trumpets: Szymon Gwóźdź, Emil Miszk, Piotr Szlempo, Dawid Lipka, Robert Bracki.
Rhythm section: Jakub Hajdun – piano; Michał Zienkowski – guitar; Krzysztof Słomkowski – doublebas; Sławomir Koryzno – percussion