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“The Life and Music of Ella Fitzgerald” at Jewish Federation Plaza, West Orange

Published May 5, 2015 by Maryanne

Jewish Federation 5-4-15 - USE THIS ONE!Jewish Federation Members, Maryanne (center), Rosalind Grant and Steve Nile

(Photo by April Osborne)

Yesterday was the kick off for “The Life and Music of Ella Fitzgerald” (from the Pear Tree “Learn and Listen” series) at the Jewish Federation Plaza in West Orange, New Jersey.

I presented a half hour biography on Ella, followed by live music, performed by Rosalind Grant (vocals) and Steve Nile (keyboard).

Rosalind Grant was filling in for Carol Erickson who has been under the weather. (Get well soon, Carol!)

We truly brought the house down! The audience enjoyed both the lively bio and the music. Members were clapping and singing along and also shared their love for Ella Fitzgerald with questions, comments and stories. What a wonderful time!

It was an honor to work with Rosalind Grant and Steve Nile and I look forward to doing so again.

Thanks so much to activities director April Osborne for having us!

Here’s a little taste of Ms. Rosalind’s fine talent:

The “Learn and Listen” series, available to libraries, senior centers, assisted living facilities, rotary clubs, Jewish Community Centers, etc.

“Learn and Listen: Ella Fitzgerald” is a one-hour presentation, with Maryanne sharing the biography of the First Lady of Song, followed by a half hour of song by the dynamic Carol Erickson! (

In addition to Ella Fitzgerald, we also have “The Life and Music of Elvis Presley” with Elvis portrayed by Ruben Castillo:

There will be more artists added to the series this year!

For rates and availability, please contact Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta at: 908-276-1514 during business hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or email: