A Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald & Joe Pass
Stella Bass (voice) & Hugh Buckley (guitar)
Ella Fitzgerald was – and still is – considered an American icon by the time she passed away in 1996, after a career spanning nearly sixty years. She is considered one of the most unique and innovative singers in jazz history and she sold tens of millions of albums during her career. 2017 is, of course, the centenary of Ella’s birth.
Joe Pass was an American virtuoso jazz guitarist, generally agreed to be one of the greatest of the 20th century; his innovative use of chord changes and phrasing have influenced a generation of jazz guitarists. Between 1973 and 1986, Ella Fitzgerald and Joe Pass recorded six albums together – four in studio and two live – the second of which would win Ella her eighth Grammy Award in 1977. The material consists mostly of classics from the Great American Songbook, many songs being reinterpretations of numbers Ella had previously recorded in different settings. These albums are still recognised today as some of the finest examples of voice/guitar duets.
Relive once again, or discover for the first time these masterpieces performed as a tribute to two bona fide legends of jazz by two of Ireland’s top jazz musicians – Hugh Buckley and Stella Bass – who perform fresh, interesting and original versions of the Fitzgerald/Pass discography.
Dublin-born Stella studied singing and piano with the RIAM, and is currently studying for a Masters degree in Music in Dublin’s Conservatory of Music. With her versatile repertoire crossing over jazz, classical and musical theatre, she is still most at home singing jazz standards.
In 2014 Stella released her album “Too Darn Hot” (featuring Hugh) to critical acclaim; it gets regular radio airplay in Ireland, the UK, the US and Germany. In fact Amy Winehouse’s mother got in touch with Stella directly to say how much she loved her album cover of Amy’s Back to Black. In Jan 2015, she performed her jazz-inspired take on the music of Stephen Sondheim, which sold out the John Field Room in the National Concert Hall; she
returned there in September that year as part of her 2-month nationwide tour celebrating Sondheim’s music. She sings with the Hot House Big Band, has recorded with the
Dublin City Jazz Orchestra, and is into the seventh year of her quartet’s Sunday residency in Dublin’s Cafe en Seine.
In 2013, Stella returned to her musical theatre roots to co-produce and perform in the Irish premiere of the hit off-Broadway show, “Shout! The Mod Musical”, which sold out its 7- week run in Dublin’s Tivoli Theatre. She also completed a sell-out Irish tour of her own one-woman, self-produced show “Smoke & Sound”, a tribute to the music and cabaret of
inter-war Berlin; featuring the songs of Kurt Weill, Berthold Brecht and Marlene Dietrich; this played once again to a sellout crowd in the NCH in 2016. She performed in London’s Pizza Express @ Pheasantry in April 2017.
Hugh Buckley is a Dublin born and based, self-taught guitarist, composer, arranger, educator and author. He has performed throughout Europe, the US, Argentina and China, working as a sideman and also leading his own groups. He has performed with a wide array of internationally acclaimed artists including Peter Bernstein, Louis Stewart, Brad Mehldau, Bobby Wellins, Anders Bercrantz, Georgie Fame, Stacey Kent, Van Morrison, Lisa
Stansfield, Ronnie Drew, John Wadham amongst others. Besides featuring on many recordings as a sideman, Hugh has released three CDs as leader, “Yes Indeed” (1998) w/James Williams, Peter Washington, Darren Beckett, “Spirit Level” (2001) (both recorded
in NY) and “Sketches of Now” (2008). His 2014 release “The Day of the Duo” is with renowned Scottish guitarist Nigel Clark. Alongside his saxophone-playing cousins Richie and Michael, he was the subject of an hour-long TV documentary “The Living
Bridge – A Family Affair” which featured original music by all three musicians. Hugh was producer, arranger and guitarist on the 2008 platinum selling CD release by the legendary folk artist Ronnie Drew, “The Last Session – A Fond Farewell”. In 2013, Hugh launched his highly acclaimed book “The Guitar Chord Doctor”. The book deals with chord voicings and techniques for the contemporary guitarist. Hugh is the founder, organiser and host of the extremely successful and acclaimed monthly event, “The Dublin Guitar Night”. The event showcases national and international guitar players across all genres.