Streaming Concert_#453: Coniece Washington Tribute to Ethel Ennis

An die Musik Live!

409 N. Charles St.
Baltimore, MD 21201

Coniece Washington Tribute to Ethel Ennis

Recording of performance on 3/26/22

Maryland vocalist Coniece Washington pays tribute to the late Ethel Ennis, long known as Baltimore’s first lady of jazz. Washington will cover tunes like “Close Your eyes” written by Bernice Petkere in 1933 and “Open Your Eyes You Can Fly.” With music by Chick Corea and lyrics by Neville Potter, the latter tune was first released by Gary Burton in 1973. Both songs were recorded for her 1980 album Live at the Maryland Inn. Ennis famously decided to remain in the area and set the course of her career, forgoing industry offers to leave home and allow RCA management to “make her a Star.”

Washington will also include the Ennis original “Hey You” from the 2005 album Ennis Live at Montpelier. Coniece Washington, who was in the audience at Montpelier, immediately became a fan and found herself “in awe” during the entire concert. She recalls that Ennis “was funny and engaging as she reminded the audience to remember life is short and they must do what they want to do before they leave this earth.”

Ethel Ennis tended towards the ballad style and Washington chose to pepper this concert with upbeat songs popularized by another Baltimore heroine -- Billie Holiday. In 2021, Washington paid tribute to Billie Holiday in another An die Musik concert which enjoyed a huge audience. She wanted to bring some of that energy into the new show. Fans can anticipate songs such as “Fine and Mellow,” “East of the Sun” and “Now or Never.” 

Coniece Washington has performed extensively throughout the Baltimore-Washington-Annapolis region, drawing influence from renowned jazz vocalists Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan and Carmen McRae. Her 2019 album Shades of Shirley Horn enjoyed fine reviews and extensive airplay.

In this special appearance, Ms. Washington will be accompanied by pianist Pete Frassrand, bassist David Marsh, drummer Nick Costa and trumpeter Clarence Ward III. She has also commissioned poet Seth Washington (no relation) to write a poem for Ethel Ennis. Says Washington, “I am thrilled to pay tribute to Ms. Ennis.” As she honors Ennis and Holiday (with whom she shares a birthday), she hopes to bring happiness to Ennis’s husband Bill Arnet and
satisfy jazz lovers who cherish the memories of these great women, who contributed so greatly to the jazz tradition.

Streaming cost: $15
Link will remain active for one week

Donations welcome

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