Celebrating 20 Years of the Ella Fitzgerald Music Festival at Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center

The 20th Annual Ella Fitzgerald Music Festival featuring Jane Monheit and Jennifer Holliday, April 20-27, 2018

For 20 years, the Ella Fitzgerald Music Festival has brought a plethora of amazing artists to the city of Newport News. Natalie Cole, Bobby McFerrin, Patti Austin, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Dianne Reeves, David Sanborn, Ethel Ennis, Aretha Franklin, Jeane Carne, Ledisi, Chrisette Michele, Lalah Hathaway, Roy Ayers, and Vivian Green are just a few. To mark this monumental milestone in honoring the legacy of the city's "First Lady of Song", Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center will host two incredible nights of music.

On Friday, April 20th, Grammy-nominated Jazz vocalist, Jane Monheit will take the Ella Fitzgerald Theater stage. Her 2016 tribute album reintroduced the world to the music of Ella Fitzgerald through a modern lens. Opening for the evening is singer/songwriter and Richmond-native, Jon Bibbs.

On April 27th, Newport News welcomes the legendary Grammy- and Tony-Award Winning singer and actress - Jennifer Holliday. Best known for her unmatched portrayal as Effie White in the first Broadway production of Dreamgirls in 1981, she sang her way into the hearts of millions with her iconic performance of "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going".

For tickets or more information on these and other events, visit www.downinggross.org or call



About Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center

The Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center is a multi-purpose cultural space in the Southeast community of Newport News, VA. Originally built as the Walter Reed School, the historic building has been restored and open to the public since October 2008. The building is owned and operated by the City of Newport News, Parks, Recreation and Tourism department.

The center houses several event spaces and large/small group gathering rooms available for event rental. The core of the Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center is the Ella Fitzgerald Theater, a 276-seat venue named for the “First Lady of Song.” Other event spaces in the building include the Anderson Johnson Gallery, the Newport News Community Gallery, the L. Marian Poe Meeting Room, the Banquet Room, and the Charles C. Allen Executive Board Room.