Salute to jazz vocalist Ella Fitzgerald

By Brian Sease

Often called the “Queen of Jazz” vocalist Ella Fitzgerald became the muse for Cal Poly Pomona’s music ensembles, while creating a beautiful night of jazz at the Music Recital Hall.

The Cal Poly Pomona Philharmonic Orchestra (CPPPO) and Polytonix Jazz Ensemble presented a ‘Salute to Ella Fitzgerald and All That Jazz’ a collection of Fitzgerald’s pieces performed live in the Cal Poly Music Recital Hall Thursday.

“Our director Dr. Riveire wanted to do something within the realms of jazz for the longest time,” fourth-year mechanical engineer student and principal cellist Paul J. Sandoval said. “The reason why we chose Ella is because she’s just one of those iconic jazz figures.”

Fitzgerald is known for being one of the most prolific jazz artists of all time having recorded over 2,000 songs and 200 albums in her lifetime.

Although Philharmonic Orchestras usually don’t play jazz pieces, the CPPPO left that notion in the dust with their renditions of classic arrangements such as ‘Minnie the Moocher’ and ‘Bidin’ My Time.’

“My favorite part was the orchestra, especially ‘Touch of Jazz,’ where they featured different types of jazz music,” first year landscape architecture student Arlene Ulloa said.

CPPPO Director and Professor of Music Education Janine Riveire led the orchestra with vigor and enthusiasm, while getting the audience to participate in ‘Minnie the Moocher.’

Vocalist and director of Polytonix also came by and performed two arrangements with CPPPO; ‘Bidin’ My Time’ and ‘Nice work if You Can Get It.’

Polytonix Vocal Jazz Ensemble or just simply, Polytonix, performed a combination of Fitzgerald’s arrangements and other pieces both modern and classic.

“I thought it was really interesting how Polytonix sang ‘Say Something,'” first year journalism student Daniela Avila said. “It reminded me of that song and I thought ‘oh it’s definitely not going to be that one because I’ve never heard it in jazz. It was really interesting listening to it with that kind of spin.”

The Philharmonic Orchestra and the Polytonix Jazz Ensemble presented a salute to vocalist Ella Fitzgerald

Brian Sease / The Poly Post

The Philharmonic Orchestra and the Polytonix Jazz Ensemble presented a salute to vocalist Ella Fitzgerald

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