We are pleased to announce the first winner of the Ella Fitzgerald Competition on the occasion of its namesake’s centennial celebration. The winner of our competition is Ms. Alyssa Allgood of Chicago, Illinois. Ms. Allgood completed her Bachelor of Arts in Jazz Studies from North Central College in Naperville, Illinois where she won the coveted Downbeat Magazine Student Music Award for Best Collegiate Vocal Jazz Soloist in 2014. Ms. Allgood is a jazz vocalist who has repeatedly received recognition as an artist who “impressively sings, scats and writes original lyrics” (DownBeat Magazine).
Ms. Allgood has previously performed at the 2016 Chicago Jazz Festival, The Green Mill, The Jazz Showcase, Fitzgerald’s Nightclub and headlined the 2016 Ottawa 2 Rivers Wine Fest. She was named a Top 15 Finalist in the 2016 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition, a 2016 Jazz Fellow through the Luminarts Cultural Organization in Chicago and 2nd place winner in the 2016 Mid-Atlantic Jazz Voice Competition. She currently works at MYA Conservatory as the Jazz and Choral Programs Coordinator, theory instructor, private lesson teacher and substitute ensemble director. She will be directing their first Vocal Jazz Workshop summer program in July 2017.
Allyssa Allgood beat out a field of 40 registrants and 20 finalists. The 5 semi-finalists competed before 4 judges on Saturday, April 29th on the campus of George Washington University in Washington, DC. The event attracted both fans and reporters alike as the contestants selected songs from the 1963 recording “Ella and Basie”. The competition similarly celebrated the musical arrangements of orchestra impresario William “Count” Basie. The competition was a component of the 13th Annual BIG BAND JAM. The 2018 competition will once again take place on the campus of George Washington University between April 27th-29th and our theme will be the Antonio Carlos Jobim songbook. Charts and further details to follow.