North Central College - Naperville, IL

Chicago Jazz Orchestra to perform Ella Fitzgerald tribute at North Central

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Contact: Ted Slowik, Director of PR and Media Relations, 630-637-5307,

Jan. 28, 2010—Chicago Jazz Orchestra will perform “Exquisitely for Ella: A Songbook Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald” Feb. 26 in North Central College’s acoustically perfect Wentz Concert Hall.

The tribute concert features vocalists Dee Alexander, Spider Saloff, Frieda Lee and the 40-piece Chicago Jazz Orchestra conducted by Jeff Lindberg performing the best of Fitzgerald’s “Songbook” recordings, including those of Duke Ellington, George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Jerome Kern and Harold Arlen.

The performance will begin at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 26, in North Central’s Wentz Concert Hall at the Fine Arts Center, 171 E. Chicago Ave., Naperville. Tickets are $40 and $30; call the North Central College Box Office at 630-637-SHOW (7469) or visit

Chicago Jazz OrchestraThe Chicago Jazz Orchestra, Chicago's oldest professional jazz orchestra in continuous operation, preserves and perpetuates music for the American jazz orchestra as it was originally conceived, performed and recorded by jazz master composers and soloists. The Chicago Jazz Orchestra presents a wide variety of programs ranging from the music of Ray Charles to Benny Goodman and George Gershwin. Visit to learn more about the ensemble.

This concert is partially underwritten by Continental Audi.

Alexander is a jazz singer known for her impressive range and warm sound. She also is an accomplished theatre actress, and her voice can be recognized in commercial spots for McDonalds, Pillsbury and Buick, among others.

Saloff is another well-known Chicago jazz vocalist and a popular performer at major jazz venues and nightclubs nationally and internationally. She is a five-time winner of the prestigious MAC Award, presented by the Manhattan Association of Cabarets. She also has appeared on CBS television’s “The Bonnie Hunt Show” and “The Steve Baskerville Show.”

Lee is a Philadelphia native who teaches music throughout the United States, hosts workshops and has served on the Chicago Board of Education throughout her diverse career. On stage, she has collaborated with late Chicago jazz and blues singer Joe Williams and traversed Chicago’s rich and diverse jazz scene.

Lindberg, the CJO’s artistic director and conductor, is a professor of music at the College of Wooster in Ohio and conductor of the Wooster Symphony Orchestra, now in its 94th season. Co-founder of the Jazz Members Big Band in 1978, Lindberg is an active transcriber of original jazz recordings. He has received numerous commissions from the Smithsonian Institute for that work. His transcriptions have been performed by artists Joe Williams, Clark Terry, Gunther Schuller and David Baker and by the Count Basie Orchestra, the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, the Woody Herman Orchestra and the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band.

During her lifetime, Fitzgerald (1917-1996) was known as the “The First Lady of Song.” She sold more than 40 million albums and collaborated with many of jazz’s all-time greats, including Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Frank Sinatra, at the world’s most important venues.

This performance is one of many ongoing programs at North Central College to enrich and broaden the cultural and academic outlook for the College and community. North Central offers a variety of venues accommodating a rich range of local and world-class events, performances and space needs for the public. For a comprehensive schedule of musical performances, theatrical and dance productions, art exhibits and lectures, visit or call the box office at 630-637-SHOW (7469).