Skip to main content

Ella Fitzgerald (with Ray Brown, Dizzy Gillespie, and Milt Jackson)

Ella Fitzgerald (with Ray Brown, Dizzy Gillespie, and Milt Jackson)
William Paul Gottlieb, 28 Jan 1917 - 23 Apr 2006
Ella Fitzgerald, 25 Apr 1917 - 15 Jun 1996
Dizzy Gillespie, 21 Oct 1917 - 6 Jan 1993
Ray Brown, 13 Oct 1926 - 2 Jul 2002
Milt Jackson, 1 Jan 1923 - 9 Oct 1999
Timme Rosenkrantz, 6 Jul 1911 - 11 Aug 1969
1947 (printed later)
Gelatin silver print
Image: 33.1 × 26.6 cm (13 1/16 × 10 1/2")
Sheet: 35.4 × 28 cm (13 15/16 × 11")
Costume\Dress Accessory\Eyeglasses
Equipment\Sound Devices\Microphone
Home Furnishings\Curtain
Ella Fitzgerald: Female
Ella Fitzgerald: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Singer\Jazz singer
Ella Fitzgerald: Presidential Medal of Freedom
Ella Fitzgerald: Grammy
Dizzy Gillespie: Male
Dizzy Gillespie: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Jazz musician
Dizzy Gillespie: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Horn player\Trumpeter
Dizzy Gillespie: Grammy
Milt Jackson: Male
Ray Brown: Male
Ray Brown: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Jazz musician
Timme Rosenkrantz: Male
Timme Rosenkrantz: Literature\Writer
United States\New York\Kings\New York
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Lisa Ruthel and Anup Mahurkar
Restrictions & Rights
Object number
Exhibition Label
Hailed as the “First Lady of Song,” Fitzgerald topped DownBeat magazine’s annual readers’ poll as the best female vocalist for seventeen consecutive years (1953–70). She was just a teenager when her victory in an amateur contest at Harlem’s famed Apollo Theater led to the opportunity to sing with Chick Webb’s orchestra in 1935. Fitzgerald soon secured her standing as a leading swing-era performer and scored a major hit with “A-Tisket, A-Tasket” (1938). After Webb’s death in 1939, she led his orchestra for three years before launching a highly successful solo career. With a supple voice that spanned three octaves, as well as an immense talent for improvisational “scat” singing, Fitzgerald built a wide-ranging repertoire encompassing jazz and popular song. Her long and fruitful association with jazz impresario Norman Granz resulted in the legendary series of “songbook” recordings that marked Fitzgerald as one of the greatest interpreters of American popular music.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
Currently not on view