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Ella Fitzgerald: Ella Fitzgerald in Budapest

Like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, Ella Fitzgerald embodied a seemingly effortless yet artful elegance that always found itself on the “sunny side of the street.” Delighting us with a “gee whiz” bravura served up with a shy smile and girlish giggle, Ella’s art was that of the optimist. With Ella, it was blue birds and red, red robins boppin’ along. And so it was in this concert recorded in 1970, in Budapest, behind the Iron Curtain, at the height of the Cold War. Thanks to Ella, for one night at least, the icy grip of that political estrangement warmed.

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