November 18, 2023
8:30 pm
New York City, USA
Birdland NYC
Robin McKelle

From country music to rhythm and blues, Robin McKelle has made an entire career exploring the rich vastness of American music. With Impressions of Ella, McKelle returns to her traditional jazz roots and finds herself right at home.
Introducing Robin McKelle, her eponymous 2006 debut, delved into a dozen timeless standards of the swing era (“Come Rain or Come Shine,” “Night and Day,” “On the Sunny Side of the Street”). For her latest effort, McKelle draws from only one source and perhaps her greatest artistic influence, Ella Fitzgerald. “The concept of the music of Ella came about because she was my first introduction to vocal jazz. I learned so much from her singing — the style of her swing feel and her singing resonates [with] me.”

To help bring her concept to life, McKelle enlists a brand new trio of venerated jazz players: Kenny Washington on drums, bassist Peter Washington, and NEA Jazz Master Kenny Barron on piano. “I wasn’t intimidated to make music with them, but [their] résumés were like, ‘Wow!’ [Am I] going to be good enough? Are we going to connect? The exciting thing was having the opportunity to sing over them as a trio; that was such a huge joy.”

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