Although she first sang here earlier that year, Ella Fitzgerald’s headline debut at Carnegie Hall was as part of a concert that included two other giants of jazz—Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker—on September 29, 1947. Between 1947 and 1991, the “First Lady of Song” went on to perform multiple times. Fitzgerald’s final concert at the Hall—and New York City—was in 1991 as part of George Wein’s JVC Jazz Festival. The New York Times review of that final concert called her “a singer whose singing always promised effortless, endless possibility.” Her famous 1972 live recording from the Hall was as part of Wein’s Newport Jazz festival, which had temporarily been relocated to New York. A pair of Fitzgerald’s trademark spectacles are on display in the Rose Museum at Carnegie Hall.
“This is the place that made me legitimate. Coming here [to Carnegie Hall] makes me feel like I am coming home. There’s just a feeling I get singing here that I don’t get anywhere else.”
From the Archives
Ella Fitzgerald at Carnegie Hall
Carnegie Hall’s performance history database covers more than 50,000 concerts and events that occurred at Carnegie Hall from its opening in 1891 to the present. Explore events related to Ella Fitzgerald (these links will open in a new tab with the performance history search tools):
- First Appearance: Midnight Jazz Concert: Pittsburgh Courier Poll Winners, March 16, 1947
- Final Appearance: JVC Jazz Festival: Ella Fitzgerald, June 27, 1991
- Detailed Appearance History