Player’s Ella and Louie Tribute Band, Bringing the music of the most beloved duo in jazz back together again.
When it comes to best jazz duos of all time, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong is at the top of the list. Yet despite their superstar status and best selling recordings, the pair never toured together. Which got New Orleans jazz musician Mitchell Player to thinking.
“The idea to get a band together to pay tribute to these two amazing artists has been stewing in my head for more than four years,” said Player, a gifted bass player and a regular at the iconic Preservation Hall. “Words can’t express what Louis Armstrong has meant to me in my life and career, and I’ve always wanted to play in a trio like the Oscar Peterson Trio with Ray Brown and Ed Thigpen. As long as I can remember I’ve wanted to be the bassist in a rhythm section that could play behind the likes of Ella and Louie. This project brings that caliber of talent to the stage. ”
Although Player is the first to say that there will never be another Ella and Louie, his inspiration, to bring their music to the world, is now a reality. With the help of a talented group of musicians and the vision of New Orleans Artist Manager/Producer Michael Paz, Player’s Ella and Louie Tribute Band is now ready for its close up. “It feels as though I’ve been preparing for this job all of my life,” said Paz, whose projects have included Allen Toussaint, The subdudes, Marc Broussard, Beausoleil, and many others. “My parents introduced me to the music of Ella & Louis, and many other jazz greats. After working with Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Terance Blanchard for many years he was approached by Player to manage and produce the band. Paz took the band in the studio in April of 2016 and recorded the album Timeless which has been released on the 504 Experience Record Label and has been well received including making the first round for Grammy consideration in two categories; Best Vocal Jazz Album and Producer of the Year (Non Classical).
Featuring a New Orleans’ who’s who of jazz, Players Ella and Louie Tribute Band spotlights Mitchell Player on bass, Gerald French on drums, Leslie Martin on piano and Todd Duke on guitar. Eileina Dennis, a UK singer with an amazing set of pipes, interprets Fitzgerald’s music, while legendary trumpet player and vocalist/Trumpeter Grammy-award winner Leon “Kid Chocolate” Brown pay tribute to Louis Armstrong. Along with the Tribute Band, Player and Paz are producing Our Love is Here to Stay, a fictional musical play inspired by the recordings of Fitzgerald and Armstrong. Our Love is Here to Stay is written and directed by Kyle T. Miller. “The story is kind of a what if, how things might have gone,” said Player.
“The chance to introduce this music to a new audience around the globe, is so exciting,” said Player, who has brought New Orleans artists to festivals in Europe and Brazil for the past 10 years. “I’m committed to promoting the New Orleans music around the world, because of what New Orleans has given to me personally. It’s so important to keep this music and culture going.” The band is scheduled to tour Europe in summer 2017 and a tour of Asia in the fall.
Visit for more information playersellaandlouietributeband.com