“Ella At 100”, The Latin Side of Ella Fitzgerald is a tribute to her voice & music, marking the centennial of the singer’s birth. The work is done in a Latin tone & key for a sextet formation with original arrangements by Rayko León, a Canarian pianist, composer & arranger who has been a member of and collaborated with a number of groups & artists, like Mestisay, Gran Canaria Big Band, Canaribe and the late timple player José Antonio Ramos.
This tribute is a completely novel project, not only in the Canary islands but worldwide; the fact being that there isn’t a group in existence that boasts a complete repertoire of Ella Fitzgerald with Latin versions.
In addition, ‘Ella at 100’ tries to establish its own sound identity using a somewhat different instrumental configuration of the group, concentrating mainly on the arrangements to provide the septet its distinguishing & identifying sound, endorsed by the meticulous work of the band’s members.
At the head of it all we find as the main vocalist Esther Alfonso Da Costa, one of the most symbolic voices representative of the Canaries; a specialist in the great jazz diva’s repertoire. As well as being a singer, she studied the violin, was an integral member of the ‘Joven Orquesta de Canarias’ (Canaries Youth Orchestra), performed with the Gran Canaria Big Band and is currently a member of the ‘Orquesta Sinfónica de Tenerife’ (Tenerife Symphony Orchestra). Concurrently, with pianist Augusto Báez they form the duet E&A, and have recorded their first disc, titled Coming from 50’s.
Other musicians involved in the tribute are José Ángel Vera (flute & saxophones), Ximo Martínez (vibraphone, marimba & lower percussion), Rodolfo Lussón Fofi (contrabass & electric bass), Alberto García (congas & tambours batás) & Osvaldo Hernández (drums & pailas); each & every musician with extensive experience in both musical ensembles and education.
“Ella at 100”, The Latin Side of Ella Fitzgerald
Esther Alfonso Da Costa: vocals & viola
Rayko León: piano
Renato D’Aiello: saxophones
Ximo Martínez: vibraphone, marimba & lower percussion
Rodolfo Lussón Fofi: contrabass & electric bass
Osvaldo Hernández: drums & pailas
Alberto García: congas & tambores batás