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Newport News Now

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Newport News Now is a daily e-newsletter that launched in March 2016. Articles that ran in our newsletter between March 2016 and March 2018 are available on these pages. Newsletters produced beginning in April 2018 can be viewed on our new daily newsletter page.

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Jul 27

Newport News to Celebrate Ella Fitzgerald Centennial

Posted on July 27, 2016 at 5:13 PM by Communications Department

Newport News is the birthplace of one of the most famouEllaCeleb_SCs jazz artists of all time, Ella Fitzgerald. Next year, would be Ella Fitzgerald’s 100th birthday, and in her honor the Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center is hosting a year-long celebration beginning this September. Reflections: 100 Years of Ella pays homage to Newport News’ beloved native daughter with a series of performances and events that share her extraordinary life and legacy. 

Ella Fitzgerald, nicknamed First Lady of Song, was born in Newport News on April 25, 1917. Ella made her first recording on June 12, 1935 and by the 1940s Ella was known as one of the best scat singers in the world. Throughout her career Ella recorded at least 200 albums. She was the first African-American female to win a Grammy and went on to win a total of 13 Grammys and sell more than 40 million albums. Ella made a true impact on the world, and Newport News is honored to celebrate her in the place where she began. 

Continue to check Newport News Now and our Social Media pages for announcements about upcoming celebrations or contact Downing-Gross Cultural Arts at 757-247-8950 or For more information about national celebrations check the Ella Fitzgerald FaceBook page.