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We Love Ella”, A Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald by the Amazing Keystone Big Band at the Châtelet Theatre, Paris, May 26, 2024.

A few years ago, The Amazing Keystone Big Band began a series of tributes to Ella Fitzgerald in the company of Célia Kameni and Dee Dee Bridgewater. Here’s the continuation of this wonderful adventure with Neïma Naouri, Pablo Campos, Hewane Charzat and Charlotte Wassy, who took to the big stage at the Châtelet on Sunday 26 May.

The show opened with an orchestral version of Stompin’ At The Savoy, Edgar Sampson’s composition evoking the famous Harlem dance hall where Ella Fitzgerald made her debut. The audience was put in the mood by this introduction, and was able to appreciate the talent of the four vocalists, who performed pieces from Ella’s repertoire, with an emphasis on George Gershwin’s compositions.

Trained in the demands of opera, Neïma Naouri‘s full-bodied voice and natural phrasing enabled her to bring out the best in the melodies of Moonlight In Vermont and Someone To Watch Over Me in an authentic jazz context.)

Pablo Campos, who has amply proven himself in this field, has a particularly sharp sense of swing and his own way of playing with the nuances of his voice (Born To Be Blue by Mel Tormé).

Hewane Charzat, whom many in the audience were discovering that evening, already has a great deal of skill and a talent confirmed by her version of I Loves you Porgy, which Ella recorded as a duet with Louis Armstrong. She has a bright future ahead of her.

Very much at ease on stage, Charlotte Wassy has mastered this type of repertoire and knows all the subtleties. Remarkable timing, a sense of swing and a personal way of elegantly sketching out the contours of a melody make her a jazz singer of great stature (Harold Harlen’s Blues In The Night, George Gershwin’s Summertime).

All this was enhanced by impeccable support from the Amazing Keystone Big Band and contributions from the orchestra’s soloists (Kenny Jeanney, David Enhco, Bastien Ballaz, Jon Boutellier, Thibaut François, Fred Nardin), who brought a welcome variety to the ensemble.

This ‘Tribute to Ella‘ came to an apotheosis with a lively version of Mack The Knife from L’Opéra de quat’sous marquably performed by this top-notch vocal quartet. A fine show.

The Amazing Keystone Big Band :

Vincent Labarre, Thierry Seneau, Félicien Bouchot, David Enhco: trumpets

Aloïs Benoit, Loïc Bachevillier, Sylvain Thomas, Bastien Ballaz: trombones

Pierre Desassis, Kenny Jeanney, Eric Prost, Jon Boutellier, Ghyslain Regard: saxophones

Thibaut François: guitar

Fred Nardin: piano

Maradan: doublebass

Romain Sarron: drums

Charlotte Wassy, Neïma Naouri, Hewane Charzat, Pablo Campos: vocals.

©Photos Noé Cazas

Translated with the help of

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