“I came, sang and listened”

Under the title "ella – first lady of song" presents the singer, actress and dancer laura mann with guitarist florian berndt on saturday, 1. August, from 6pm on the land of the kunstverein coburg a homage to ella fitzgerald. In this interview, the coburg native reveals why the audience can expect an extraordinary horror experience. At the "culture summer 2020 together with guitarist florian berndt they performed their program "ella – first lady of song" on, a tribute to ella fitzgerald. What fascinates you most about the american jazz singer and how did you get in touch with her work?? Laura mann: singing ella fitzgerald always makes my heart beat faster. She sings with an ease, plays with her voice in the highest highs and lowest lows and tells a whole story with one song. I could listen to her for hours. I read several biographies about her, and one thing was immediately clear: this eventful and moving life is material for a stunning story. You will be accompanied by florian berndt on guitar, ella fitzgerald has often performed with trumpeters during her solo career. What are the advantages of guitar accompaniment??

Ella fitzgerald has performed with classical jazz combo and big bands as well as in beautiful duo concerts with guitarist joe pass. These recordings were the inspiration for our program.

Will you present a purely musical tour of ella fitzgerald's work during your performance??

Our program "ella – first lady of song is a tribute to one of the greatest jazz singers of our time. Their music is clearly the center of attention. Nevertheless, it is not just an evening of songs, but a mixture of theater and concert: we will sing and play our way through her eventful life on the basis of the many songs that she interpreted, and we will learn about the woman with the "voice of light" in scenes and with exciting anecdotes.

What are the special challenges of ella fitzgerald's songs??

Ella fitzgerald not only had an incredible vocal range of three octaves, she was also a master of imitation. She could sound like a trumpet. Even louis armstrong's "rasping voice imitated them almost to perfection. I followed their example: I came, sang and listened, and in the meantime I am told that my louis can also be heard already.

Do you have a favorite song??

The beauty of ella fitzgerald is that her repertoire is huge! Whether jazz or western, dreamy ballads and lilting classics – she even covered a few songs by the beatles. It's hard to choose just one song.

You were born in coburg. Here you participated in the chamber choir and, at the age of 16, in "jesus christ superstar playing at the landestheater coburg. What memories do you have of the city?

I went to school in coburg, spent my youth here, and had a wonderful time. Whenever I visit, I walk in the footsteps of my time at the gymnasium: through steinweg to the marketplace, down to the albertinum. At the fub of the hofgarten i think of warm samba evenings when i look at the castle square. And an obligatory visit to the theater is also a must. The questions were asked by frank gundermann.


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