xJazz at the VSO: The Music of Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong

Dates and Venue Friday, May 15 & Saturday, May 16 at 8pm | Orpheum Theatre

Conductor Jeff Tyzik Featured performers Byron Stripling vocalist & trumpeter; Marva Hicks vocalist; Bob Breithaupt drummer

Reviewer Ed Farolan

Wonderful show reflecting Louis Armstrong's Wonderful World! Stripling got us singing with him in this two-hour concert. And stylist Hicks was marvelous as she sang Ella Fitzgerald's classics from Gershwin's Porgy and Bess: "Summertime" and "My Man's Gone Now." What a voice!

Celebrating the music of Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, both sang duets, sometimes solos, as the audience was taken on a nostalgic journey of recordings by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong., from “Our Love is Here to Stay” to “I Can’t Give you Anything But Love,” and more.

But the audience's favorite was obviously Armstrong's signature song, "What a Wonderful World". Classics like "I'm Confessin' That I Love You", "Just One Of Those Things", and "On The Sunny Side Of The Street" were received with warmth and acceptance by the Vancouver audience. Stripling was so happy with the Vancouver audience that he hoped he could live in Vancouver.

Together with the songs, Stripling in-between gave anecdeotes about Armstrong -- how he loved children and gave ice cream to the neighbourhood kids, and how he decided not to move out of his neighbourhood and buy a bigger and more prestigious home.

The Orpheum was jam-packed on opening night and for sure, it'll be a full house again for its second and last performance on May 16th.

. © 2015 Ed Farolan